A night for the books
It only makes sense for this winter that Wednesday Morning may accomplish a wintry feat unmatched in Baton Rouge history. Enough that a record low will likely fall, one more big-chill could etch the 2013-2014 winter in history.
On April 15, 2008 the morning low temperature in Baton Rouge dipped down to 36°. Since temperature records began for the Baton Rouge area in 1892 that marked the latest date into the spring season that temperatures had gotten that cold. Previously, April 14, 1909 had been the record holder, bottoming out at 36°. Of course, Wednesday Morning's date is April 16, and the forecast low is, you guessed it, 36°. Should thermometers hit that mark or colder, it will be the latest into the spring season we've EVER seen a temperature that cold! It seems befitting that the 2013-2014 winter season will create such a benchmark.
Looking back at other April cold weather statistics, we find the latest freeze our area has ever seen. On April 13, 1940 the mercury dropped to 31°.
Given the all-time late cold, obviously a daily record is positioned to fall as well. In fact, this one likely won't even be close. On April 16, 1983 the basement number for thermometers was 39°. That means tonight's forecast of 36° has 3° of wiggle room to tie and 2° to break the record.
Numbers aside, the cold isn't just a statistic this late in the season. Farmers, gardeners, and even seasonal allergy sufferers know that Southern Louisiana is well into the growing season. With middle 30s in the forecast for Baton Rouge, that means Parishes to the north and Counties in Southern Mississippi that are typical cold pockets may well flirt with some patchy frost or even a light freeze tonight. Thus, those with potentially afflicted interests should prepare accordingly.
Here is a statement from the National Weather Service regarding the chiller ahead overnight:
"The cold front that moved through the area overnight is bringing much colder and drier air to Southern Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana today and Wednesday. The combination of clear skies, dry air and light winds will allow temperatures to dive into the middle and upper 30s for a few hours early Wednesday Morning across much of the area. The exceptions would be areas on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and the lower portions of the Coastal Louisiana Parishes. These temperatures will challenge record lows for Wednesday in many locations. Much of the area is already past the date of their latest freezing temperatures on record. Some protected locations could see some light frost Wednesday Morning. Very tender vegetation may need some protection from the cold temperatures. Temperatures will warm well into the 40s by mid-morning on Wednesday with a moderating trend in temperatures to continue through the end of the week."
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.