Monday, March 2, 2015

Breezy & Warm Next Couple of Days

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- very wet today in some parts of the viewing area
- fog lingers this evening and through the night
- from the 70°s to 40°s at mid week

Pockets of rather thick fog for some locations and rains of 3” or more in others to start off the work week: not exactly what the doctor ordered.  And many of us could still be dealing with some thick fog tomorrow morning. The NWS has already posted a Dense Fog Advisory for just about the entire WAFB viewing area, going into effect this evening and 9 p.m. and remaining in effect until 9 a.m. tomorrow. 

It will be a mild, muggy night and morning start for Tuesday.  Not only with the fog and the possibility of a passing shower or two, but also given a forecasted low near 60° for the Capital City.  In the meantime, radar and storm reports are indicating some substantial 24-hour rain totals, led by a whopping 5.26” in Liberty, MS as of 3PM.

All of this going on as we watch a warm front lift northward through our viewing area.  That has generated an impressive temperature gradient across the viewing area: 4PM temperatures were in the mid and upper 70°s in Ascension Parish, the mid 60°s in EBR Parish, but down into the 50°s for parts of the Felicianas and Pointe Coupee Parish.  That gradient should slacken as the warm front lifts north tonight.

We’ll keep a 30% to 40% rain chance in the forecast for Tuesday -- mainly for showers in the afternoon but a rumble or two of thunder can’t be ruled out.  In addition, Tuesday will be breezy and quite warm with highs in the upper 70°s for the Red Stick.

We’re going a little warmer for Wednesday, with a morning start in the low to mid 60°s for metro BR and an afternoon high maybe a degree or so higher than Tuesday.  And like Tuesday, fog could be an issue for the Wednesday morning drive. 

Our next front is scheduled to arrive late Wednesday into the early hours Thursday, and this front will leave a mark!  We’re not concerned about severe weather, but you will the impact of the Arctic air mass behind the front as temperatures will plummet.  The additional issue of concern with the mid-week cold front is the potential for wintry precipitation.  Our thinking is that there is little chance for snow or sleet accumulations in the viewing area.  However, areas north of the Capital City may see temperatures drop quickly enough to support the onset of pockets of freezing rain, especially over elevated roads and bridges.

However, timing of the lingering rains behind the front and the arrival and southward extend of sub-freezing temperatures is still in question right now.  We’ll need to watch as the forecast models adjust and fine-tune the weather picture for Wednesday night and early Thursday over the next 24 to 48 hours.  In the meantime, our gut feeling right now is that metro BR misses out on the freezing rain threat.

After a cold Thursday afternoon with highs in the 40°s for metro BR and a light freeze for the Red Stick on Friday morning, temperatures should start a slow warming trend that carries through the weekend and into the following week.  Unfortunately, the rain outlook for the weekend is a little “cloudy” at this stage, so we’ll go with a low confidence outlook for scattered showers on both Saturday and Sunday.

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