Continued warming, watching the next storm system
The Baton Rouge area will register some high temperatures in the 80s before a cold front and squall line bring active, but cooler weather to the region on Sunday.
Today and Tonight: Thursday will repeat an ongoing pattern of morning fog, partial afternoon sun and warmer highs. Despite more clouds than sun, area thermometers bounce into the mid 70s. At night, while fog is again possible, increasing winds and some clouds may negate widespread development. Lows will be in the low 60s.
Looking Ahead: On Friday, winds will continue to increase, driving afternoon highs even warmer. Expect a high in the upper 70s under partly sunny skies. Saturday will start off in the mid 60s as winds stiffen into the 15-20mph range. A general increase in clouds will occur through the day. Still, some locations may make into the lower 80s during the afternoon. Showers and thunderstorms will accompany a cold front into the area on Sunday. Some of the storms could be strong with gusty wind and heavy rain.
Forecast Discussion: Through Saturday, high pressure will be stationed off of the Southeast U.S. coast providing a persistent southerly flow to the area. This will continue to ramp up daily highs and lows. A ridge aloft will keep the weather fairly quiet with the exception of some morning fog. A deepening surface low near the Rockies on Friday and Saturday will clash with the eastern high to create a tighter pressure gradient and windy conditions. Friday through Sunday, winds will be out of the south at 10-20mph. Forecast models continue to waver a bit on the setup and timing for a frontal passage with potentially strong thunderstorms on Sunday. The GFS model has been more sporadic jumping back and forth between a negatively and positively tilted trough and showing a squall line as early as Saturday Night or as late as Monday Morning. The more consistent ECMWF has steadily hinted at a cold front and associated squall line crossing the region on Sunday Afternoon. The 500mb trough is expected to be neutrally or negatively tilted as it ejects from Northeast Texas to the Great Lakes between Sunday and Monday. A 120 knot jet streak will be positioned from Western Louisiana into Central Missouri with a 55 knot low level jet stream from Arkansas to Alabama northward into Tennessee. While surface moisture will be high, surface instability will be low. Given the position of a surface low scooting northeastward from Texas to Michigan, and positioning of the best dynamic support, severe thunderstorms seem most likely in Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. To a lesser extent, one or two severe storms may be possible in Southeastern Louisiana. The front will clear the area on Monday with high pressure building in from the west. Temperatures will then return to their seasonal average for a few days early next week.
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