Top 5 Weather Events of 2015
From McComb to Morgan City, Killian to New Roads and the Baton Rouge Metro between, WBRZ's forecast area isn't immune to any type of weather. While the Sportsman's Paradise is known for sunshine and warmth, there are a handful of times each year where Mother Nature doesn't play along. As the year comes to a close, our weather team will take a look back at the top 5 weather events that will be remembered from 2015.
1. April 27
Much can be said about this significant severe weather event. It was a mid-morning storm that made skies appear black as night. All across Southeastern Louisiana, rain blew sideways and wind scattered debris. And then there was the insane video of a train tumbling off of the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans. Some remarked that for a few moments, it was like going through a hurricane. Pierre Part, Napoleanville, Bayou Gauche, Chackbay, Kenner and Thibodaux all had confirmed tornadoes. Our team made the case that this intense squall line be classified as a rare Gulf Coast derecho.
2. Historic Heat
This year will likely go down as the warmest on record. 2015 sits in first place with an annual average temperature of 70.2 degrees. As of this writing, only one week remains and above average temperatures are in the forecast. Much of the blame can be placed on a mild fall and remarkably hot summer. The Capital City reached 95 degrees or higher 41 times! On average, the 95 degree plateau is only reached 17 times per year. 100 degrees was met twice, on Jul. 30 and on Aug. 3 which peaked at 103 degrees! The Red Stick topped out over 94 degrees 34 straight days from Jul. 8 to Aug. 10—the longest such streak on record.
Sounds like a productive April rain, right? Try back to back weekends, in October, traditionally one of the driest months of the year. We’ll examine the four days in order. 2.12 inches of rain fell in the Capital City on Saturday, Oct. 24, washing out LSU tailgates ahead of the Western Kentucky game. It was a daily record that would look like a misting fan next to the buckets that dumped on Baton Rouge one day later. A mind-boggling 8.6 inches of rain fell on Sunday, Oct. 25—the fourth highest single day total ever recorded at Metro Airport. The two day deluge was a 25 year rain event. More than 4 inches would fall the following weekend. The soaking stretch put an end to our number 4 event.
From Mid-July to Mid-October, Baton Rouge only recorded 8.89 inches of rain—the fourth lowest total for that time period since records began in 1924. Experts had classified the region as in “extreme drought” with many locations nearly a foot shy of what was considered a normal rainfall amount to that point in the year. In Louisiana, wildfires sparked prompting burn bans to be issued; while Mississippi farmers dealt with reduced crop yields. Many area lawns browned without sprinkler systems.
5. Ice, ice, baby!
Any time there is a wintry precipitation event in Gulf South--it grabs headlines. For the second year in a row, an ice event snuck up on the Baton Rouge area. In Late February freezing rain advisories had to be issued for locations northwest of the city. Ice accumulations totaled up to one-tenth of an inch causing bridges to freezes up and roadways to become slick. Fortunately, this go around it was not a repeat of the top weather event from 2014!
Thank you for choosing the WBRZ Weather Team as your source for weather information throughout the year. Stay connected with us during active weather in 2016 on our social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter. Share your comments, photos and stories--your experiences are a part of the weather story! Have a safe and Happy New Year!
-- Pat, Josh, Robert & Keller