Showers and storms flare up this afternoon
There is a slightly better chance of pop-up showers and thunderstorms today. Some changes come to the weekend forecast with a quicker arrival of rain and a sharper cool down behind the front.
Today and Tonight: Thursday will be partly sunny and warm with high temperatures in the mid 80s. The afternoon hours will offer a little better chance for showers and thunderstorms than did Tuesday and Wednesday. About 30 percent of the WBRZ Weather forecast area will pick up measurable rain and indications are that central locations, including Baton Rouge, have the best chance. Action will be limited to the midday hours and should not be long in duration. However, any thunderstorms could briefly produce downpours and gusty wind. Activity will go by the boards tonight as skies clear and temperatures fall back into the mid 60s.
For the third straight day, rain coverage underperformed slightly. Wednesday’s forecast called for 20 percent of the area to pick up measurable rain during the afternoon hours—mainly west of the Amite River. Indeed the heavier showers hugged the western border of the WBRZ Weather forecast area, with 10 percent or less of the area receiving measurable precipitation.
Up Next: Lower rain chances return for Friday and with more sunshine high temperatures will climb into the upper 80s. On Saturday, a cold front will move into the area with showers and thunderstorms. Timing will become important to outdoor plans on Saturday afternoon and evening. At this time, the best chance for rain appears to be midday. While a line of showers and thunderstorms may interrupt some events, they should not washout. Severe weather is not expected. Cooler and drier air will arrive on Sunday. Pleasant conditions will remain in place through Tuesday.
THE SCIENCE: On Thursday, some weak mid-level forcing will work with diurnal warmth and the marine breeze to once again produce isolated showers and thunderstorms. Rain coverage is expected to be a little higher than on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service, the Baton Rouge area will be caught between two slightly drier pockets of air over the Atchafalaya Basin and Mississippi Coast. Due to this, a conveyor of moisture will be funneled across the forecast area which will likely cause a small group of thunderstorms to develop. The NWS also says that as a weak upper level ridge spreads eastward into the forecast area, a very distinct dry air intrusion at 700mb could cause any ongoing storms to become severe with the main hazard being damaging winds. Friday seems to offer the thinnest spread of showers and thunderstorms through the remainder of the week. The weak ridge previously mentioned will allow high temperatures to climb by a degree or two and into the upper 80s. By Saturday, the jet stream will begin digging into the Southeast as a positively tilted trough takes shape. This trough will bring a strong cold front into the area but the orientation does not suggest a threat for severe weather at this time. A line of showers and thunderstorms is currently timed for Saturday Evening. While an all day rain event is not anticipated, a period of showers and thunderstorms could interrupt some events. Monitor this portion of the forecast if you will be participating in outdoor events Saturday Evening, such as the LSU spring game. Forecast models carry some low level moisture into Sunday and so some low clouds may take time to fully clear the area as considerably cooler air arrives. Readings will end up running 5-10 degrees below average Sunday and Sunday Night. Sunshine and low humidity will continue through Tuesday as temperatures slowly moderate.