Warm again before another front
High temperatures reached 80 degrees for the first time in 2018 on Wednesday afternoon. At 82 degrees, Baton Rouge fell two shy of a 1989 record. The last 80 degree reading came on December 22 when thermometers topped out at 81 degrees.
Today and Tonight: Warming will continue on Thursday and temperatures may be able to reach 80 degrees for the second straight day. Some added sunshine will help this prospect and Thursday figures to stay completely dry. You might even notice some humidity, especially for February standards. Overnight, light southeast winds and partly cloudy skies may lead to some more fog development with lows in the mid 60s.
Up Next: As a cold front approaches the region, increased clouds and isolated showers will be possible on Friday. The front will arrive and stall out along the Louisiana coast on Saturday. Therefore, clouds and a few showers will be carried in the forecast, but this weekend does not look nearly as wet as the last two. A full frontal passage is not expected and therefore, neither is cooler air for Sunday. Mild temperatures and ample cloudiness will remain in the forecast for early next week.
A southern stream ridge will nudge northward over the Gulf Coast through Thursday and possibly into Friday. Thursday is the most likely day to stay completely dry this week with a good deal of sunshine as well. Thermometers will push 80 degrees as a result. As that ridge retreats, another cold front will return showers to the area Saturday. This aspect of the forecast presents some challenges, as there is some disagreement amongst forecast models as to how far south this cold front moves and how strong it will be. Cloud cover will persist on Saturday with the boundary overhead. Showers are only expected to be isolated and light. The more likely outcome is that this front dissipates over the Gulf Coast on Saturday night, leaving behind clouds and possibly a shower for Sunday. At this time, no significant cooling is expected behind it. A deep southwesterly flow will continue into early next week with a trough west and ridge east. Therefore, the mainly cloudy skies will remain with occasional disturbances bringing isolated shower chances. With the air mass undisturbed at the surface, well above average temperatures will continue as well. The next cold front is pegged for the middle of next week but it is too early to determine specific timing, strength and impacts.
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