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Tricky forecast for an unsettled weekend

1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago December 01, 2016 Dec 1, 2016 Thursday, December 01 2016 December 01, 2016 6:21 AM in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

Enjoy some sunshine over the next two days because, for the first time in a while, the Baton Rouge area faces a wet weekend.

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Despite sunshine throughout Thursday, light northerly winds will keep high temperatures a bit below average in the mid 60s. Conditions remain peaceful overnight with clear skies and lows in the low 40s.

Up Next: Some high cloud cover will begin to build Late Friday with temperatures again in the mid 60s. The weekend forecast will be a challenge. By Saturday, a Gulf of Mexico storm system is expected to spread rain across Louisiana and Mississippi. However, some forecast models are keeping most of the precipitation west of our area through the first half of the weekend. We may squeeze out some dry time as a result. Either way, due to clouds highs will stay in the upper 50s. Sunday and Monday look similarly damp, but a bit milder. This part of the forecast will be very dependent on storm track. Right now, the system is trending farther northwest which will mean warmer temperatures and thunderstorms, possibly strong. If the system moves farther southeast, we can expect cooler temperatures and showers.

The Tropics: The 2016 Hurricane Season has officially ended. CLICK HERE for a recap.

THE SCIENCE:

Forecast Discussion:  An area of high pressure will migrate from Louisiana to Tennessee through Friday, allowing mainly clear skies and northeasterly winds. Temperatures will be a few degrees below average through the remainder of the week as focus shifts to the next significant system. Forecast models are showing a shortwave trough pinching off into a full cut off upper low over Mexico by Saturday. This will induce cyclogenesis off of the East Texas cool season baroclinic zone. An associated warm front will lift north through the Gulf of Mexico and overrunning precipitation will begin on Saturday Morning, continuing through the day. The surface low will move northeastward, possibly intersecting a portion of Southeast Louisiana sometime Saturday Night or Sunday. The western extent of the surface low track will have a drastic impact on temperatures and the possibility of thunderstorms. For now and for consistency’s sake, we will keep forecast temps cool on Saturday Night and Sunday, but a shift west would mean part or all of the forecast area could reside in the warm sector for a period of time and thermometers would respond upward considerably. Additionally, instability in the warm sector could lead to a few thunderstorms. Both the GFS and ECMWF models now seem to agree that precip. will wrap up Late Sunday or Early Monday. Whether or not the cut off low ejects northeastward, models now continue with a longwave trough into the Southwest and a ridge over the East. That will leave the Central Gulf Coast in a fairly active southwesterly flow open to more cyclogenesis in the Western Gulf and therefore more unsettled weather. Another system pegged for the middle of next week could eventually get flushed out by a much stronger front and colder air mass for the end of next week.        

--Josh

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