Thursday, April 30, 2015

Staying Nice into the First Days of May

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

April 30 First Alert Quickcast:

- nice weather extends through the weekend
- only isolated rains early next week

It’s been a beauty of a day to close out April, and there is more of this great weather on the way for Friday and the weekend!  Take advantage if you can, because the summer heat and humidity will be here before you know it.

We will close the book today on a “warm-and-wet” month of April.  April’s monthly temperature of 71.4° (preliminary estimate) for Baton Rouge was more than 3° above the norm.  While that may not sound like a big departure, April 2015 ranks among the 15 “warmest” Aprils for metro Baton Rouge based on records back through 1893 (123 years).

And wet?  You bet!  Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport (BTR) April rain total of 8.08” was nearly double the April norm, making this April the “wettest” April since 1997 and ranking among the top 20% for all April rain totals for metro BR.  But when you look around the viewing area, BTR’s April total pales in comparison to some other locations.  10” to 12” monthly totals are commonplace for places south of the Capital City, with raingage sites like Gramercy (14.70”), Donaldsonville (14.10”), Morgan City (14.42”) and Franklin (15.49”) reporting roughly three-times their respective April normal rainfall.

Given the wet month, our current run of sunny, low humidity days is doubly welcome.  And the great weather we’ve enjoyed for the last two days of April will continue into the first days of May.  We’re going with mostly-sunny to sunny skies for Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... so go ahead and make plans to get outside over the next few days!

We’re expecting a morning low on Friday in the mid to upper 50°s for metro BR.  During the day, a dry, reinforcing cool front will slide through the viewing area.  Although highs will return to around 80° or so for the Red Stick, the front will deliver a secondary surge of continental air, which means a drop in humidity as we end Friday and head into the weekend.  At best, we can expect a few fair-weather clouds for Friday -- in the meantime, it looks just about perfect for Friday’s downtown ‘Live After Five.’

The dip in humidity will mean sunrise temperatures in the low to mid 50°s for both Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Then afternoon sunshine will take Red Stick neighborhoods up to around 80° or so for both days but it stays quite comfortable thanks to the low dew point temperatures.

Heading into next week, with high pressure to our east, we’ll start to see a return of Gulf humidity.  For now, we’re posting a 20% chance of afternoon showers for Monday with spotty showers possible for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons -- so yes, a few showers in the region but most stay dry each day.  With afternoon highs rising into the mid 80°s by mid-week and a continued climb in dew points, we’ll call for scattered afternoon showers for Thursday.

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