Unseasonable warmth through Saturday, gusty storms possible Sunday
A pair of warm days will be followed by a strong cold front crossing the region on Sunday. With that, there is a chance of severe weather.
Today and Tonight: Wrapping up the week, the Baton Rouge area will have a partly sunny sky and much warmer than average temperatures. Area thermometers will be near 80°. Expect southerly winds at 10mph. A balmy night is ahead with partly to mostly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 60s.
Looking Ahead: Saturday will be warm and windy. Partial sunshine is likely but clouds will have a tendency to increase through the day. High temperatures will be guided into the low 80s by a southerly wind of 10-20mph.
Into Sunday Morning, it will stay warm, breezy and muggy. Lows will be in the upper 60s. A squall line will move into the area by afternoon with a period of heavy rain and thunderstorms—with perhaps a few reaching severe limits. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has placed our region under a “marginal risk” for severe weather indicating a 5% chance for a severe thunderstorm within 25 miles of a given point. The WBRZ Weather Team expects the most likely area for a severe thunderstorm to be along and north of I-12. The main threat would be gusty wind along the initial squall line. Once it passes, moderate to heavy rain may persist for a few hours. Right now, the most likely timeframe for active weather appears to be Sunday Afternoon.
For a more in-depth analysis of the severe weather potential, check out this video briefing from Meteorologist Josh Eachus.
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 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 are now in better agreement about the setup and timing for a weekend frontal passage with potentially strong thunderstorms. The GFS model has come into line with the consistent trends of the ECMWF in showing a Sunday Morning to Sunday Afternoon event. A 500mb trough is expected to be neutrally or negatively tilted as it ejects from Central Texas to the Great Lakes between Sunday and Monday. A 120 knot jet streak will be positioned from Southeast Texas northeastward into Southern Missouri. The strongest portion of the jet stream will remain just northwest of the local area. A 55 knot low level jet stream will be ongoing along the Central Gulf Coast. 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 just north of the Baton Rouge area in Central and Northern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Arkansas. Still, one or two severe storms may be possible in Southeastern Louisiana. Given the unidirectional wind shear and high moisture content, damaging wind gusts would be the primary concern along the leading edge of the squall line with a secondary heavy rain threat for the few hours that follow. Area wide, 1-2” of rain is anticipated. 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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