Breaker of humidity, deflector of hurricane
Barely noticeable, but undeniably welcome, an August "cold front" is providing South Louisiana and Southern Mississippi with a slight downswing in the oppressive summertime humidity. The third and most subtle such occurrence this summer will keep temperatures near or just a touch below average, but mitigate the steam to greater extent. Accustomed to sweltering August weather, you might say it can't get better this time of year. But it can.
Exactly ten years ago, from August 13-18 2004, the region had a weather two-for. A cold front that etched an unprecedented six straight days worth of records also barricaded the area from a destructive hurricane.
As reported by the New Orleans/Baton Rouge National Weather Service, on August 12, 2004 an unseasonably potent cool air mass swept south across the United States. By the morning of August 13, Baton Rouge thermometers had dropped to 60° which is 14° below average. On August 14, the first of two mornings in the 50s found a low of 59°. Five more record lows would fall on subsequent mornings, with 58° on August 15 being the coolest August temperature ever recorded in Baton Rouge. Three record lows were also set in New Orleans.
The same record-breaking cold front in South Louisiana was paramount in steering powerful Category 4 Hurricane Charley out of the Central Gulf of Mexico and unfortunately into the west coast of Florida. The storm made landfall in Cayo Costa and Punta Gorda, Florida packing winds in excess of 145mph. Charley killed eight and caused over $5 billion in property damage to the state of Florida. The storm would re-emerge in the Atlantic and make a third U.S. landfall in South Carolina as a category 1 hurricane before the same, determined cold front snagged the storm and turned it extra-tropical.
So summertime cold fronts CAN get better than this-heat relief and hurricane protection. Yes, please.
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, connecting with Josh on Google+ and following him on Twitter.