Have a lightning plan, widespread storms through Saturday
The forecast continues to feature showers and thunderstorms through Sunday. College football games and tailgates in the Baton Rouge area this weekend will likely contend with rain. Fortunately, rainfall amounts are only expected to be in the 2" range meaning that other than nusiance ponding water, flooding is not anticipated.
Today and Tonight: While some sun may appear early on Friday, showers and thunderstorms will develop by midday and become scattered or even widespread during the afternoon. High temperatures will struggle to reach 90 degrees before rain pulls numbers back down into the low 80s. Activity will begin to wrap up in the evening, allowing high school football games to play, if not delayed briefly. With mostly cloudy skies, expect an overnight low in the low 70s.
Saturday: Widespread showers and thunderstorms are on tap for Saturday. Those with outdoor plans, such as tailgating, should have a rain, and more importantly, lightning contingency plan. Forecast models are in good agreement that storms will develop around mid-morning and continue across the area into late afternoon. The day won’t necessarily be a total washout but rounds of rain and storms will inconvenience outdoor plans. With adequate cover, tailgates can continue in the event of rain. However, with lightning in the area, only a sturdy building or vehicle is an acceptable shelter. Last week, many tailgaters remained outside with lightning striking all around. The same people then took cover when the first drops began to fall. Rain does not kill, lightning does. Most models end the precipitation by 9pm, meaning that while delays are possible, both college football games will most likely be played.
Up Next: A fairly active afternoon shower and storm pattern should persist through at least Monday. Look for partly sunny skies early with highs approaching 90 degrees. Isolated to scattered showers and storms will develop near coastal areas first and spread inland through the afternoon. Nights will be quieter with the record streak of lows above 70 degrees continuing.
The Tropics: Julia has re-strengthened into a tropical storm as it spins off of the Carolina Coast. Most of the rain and wind remain east of the center. Tropical Storm Ian is racing to its own demise in the North Atlantic. Tropical Storm Karl has formed in the Eastern Atlantic and is moving westward toward the Windward Islands. Encountering harsh conditions for further development, this system will only develop slowly through the weekend.
Forecast Discussion: An upper level ridge will slide just far enough east that coincident with a Northwest U.S. trough, southwesterly flow will return ample moisture to the troposphere. On the western periphery of the ridge, ripples of vorticity will occasionally squirm through the region enhancing shower and thunderstorm development. Aided by a surface trough between Tropical Storm Julia and a disturbance in the Gulf, widespread activity is expected Friday through Sunday with rain coverage in the 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area in the 50-70% range. With football season underway, those venturing outdoors should keep in mind that an indoor option is the safest shelter from lightning. Temperatures will be close to average with some highs potentially busting shy of 90 degrees depending on where the earliest showers flare up. By next week, models diverge in solutions. The ECMWF shows the ridge retreating westward and returning the area to a typical hot, humid, isolated afternoon showers type of pattern. The GFS and GEM suggest a weak front reaches the area by Tuesday, potentially increasing showers and thunderstorms for a brief period, but also knocking back the humidity a touch. Obviously, the trade off in that second scenario sounds a whole lot better! We’ll see how things play out.