Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Turning Cooler for Thursday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- cooler but dry weather through Sunday
- looking less pleasant for Lundi Gras & Mardi Gras

Well, Mother Nature whistled a fast ball past us today, taking afternoon temperatures into the 70°s for most area locations. Now understand, we’re not complaining about the spring-like weather under those mainly-blue skies, but once again our computer guidance fell well short of the mark -- if you remember, yesterday we were calling for highs in the upper 60°s for this afternoon.

Lately the computer guidance has been struggling with our area temperatures, more so than normal. In some cases, we’re seeing consensus “misses” by as much as 5° to 10° -- with the forecasted highs tending to come in cooler than the realized temperatures.

In the meantime, our general forecast remains essentially unchanged over the next few days. We stay dry through Sunday, with a wake-up freeze still on the forecast board for Friday morning.

A weak, dry cool front is sliding south through the viewing area this very evening -- yep, we bet you didn’t even notice it! It really won’t make much of a difference for Thursday morning: in fact, we’ve got a morning start for tomorrow that will actually be a few degrees higher than what we had this morning. But by Thursday afternoon, the colder Canadian air takes a firm hold on the viewing area, keeping highs in the upper 50°s to around 60° for the Red Stick. Then the real chill arrives Thursday night into Friday morning, with a freeze for most of the viewing area by Friday’s sunrise. What’s more, the colder air mass will keep highs in the low to mid 50°s for Friday afternoon.

Friday evening’s Southdowns parade -- and LSU Baseball’s season opener -- will have a winter feel for both with temperatures falling through the 40°s during the evening hours. At least the winds should be reasonably light, so there’s not going to be a significant after-dark wind chill to deal with.

Sunrise temperatures on Saturday will be cold -- mid 30°s for the Capital City, but the day’s mostly-sunny skies should allow for decent warm-up by noon -- just in time for the kick-off of the Spanish Town Parade. We’re expecting highs in the mid 60°s for Saturday afternoon -- maybe even sneaking into the upper 60°s for parts of downtown BR. 

Yet another dry front moves through the WAFB viewing area late Saturday into early Sunday. We had been thinking a chilly Sunday until now, with our latest model suite calling for something closer to 40° to start Sunday and afternoon highs in the upper 50°s to near 60°. Confidence in Sunday’s temperature forecasts is so-so at this stage: we’ll keep an eye on it through the coming days.

Unfortunately, the outlook for the last days of Carnival is less-than-promising. Although temperatures will moderate for Monday and Tuesday, with highs returning to the 60°s, the warmer afternoons also come with increasing rain chances. At this point, we’re calling for scattered afternoon showers and a few t-storms for Monday (Lundi Gras) with showers and t-storms likely on ‘Fat Tuesday’ across the WAFB viewing area. The outlook is essentially the same for the Crescent City and surroundings: not what the big parade krewes were hoping to see!

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