Your Memorial Day Weekend weather planner
As vacations and outdoor activities kick into gear for the long weekend, here is a summary of what you can expect in the Baton Rouge area and nearby destinations.
Today and Tonight: Persistence is the pattern into Thursday. Partly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80s will give way to a few pulse showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon hours. Again, rain coverage across the forecast area will be low. At night, any action will dissipate with a low failing to leave the 70s.
Up Next: For the Memorial Day Weekend, Friday to Monday, expect the main feature to be warm and humid conditions. Highs will flirt with 90 degrees while lows struggle to leave the 70s. The UV Index will be extremely high leaving sunburn times under 15 minutes. Thus, sunscreen will be important if spending extended time outdoors, like at the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales. If there are any pop-up showers and thunderstorms, they will be isolated and limited to the afternoon hours. This means that all of the headlining acts at Bayou Country Superfest should go on without a hitch. Saturday seems to provide the best (but still low) chance at some activity. Please keep in mind, even if it is sunny, the sound of thunder means you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Just take a moment inside for any stray storms to pass and then continue on with outdoor plans. Those heading toward the coast will find even lower rain chances and slightly lower high temperatures.
Forecast Discussion: Some interesting and opposing features at play this afternoon make it difficult to predict whether or not there will be any pop-up showers. The upper level jet stream is weaker than yesterday and the capping ridge has bulged back to the north—two factors working against development. However, some energy moving through the mid-levels may create enough vorticity and uplift to support some activity. There will certainly be enough warmth and humidity available. In sum, we’ll carry the mention of a few showers in siding with forecast model output. By Saturday, the region will come as close as it will to a flattening trough in the Midwest. The axis of this trough lining up with Louisiana may result in some isolated showers and thunderstorms. For Sunday and Monday, a weak surface high pressure and very calm upper level conditions will likely result in the Central Gulf Coast staying entirely dry. Not much change is expected into the middle of next week. High temperatures will be fairly steady in the upper 80s to nearly 90 degrees. Days featuring more sunshine will obviously top out on the warm side while areas that receive showers may hang on to slightly lower numbers.
The Tropics: While the local area remains under the influence of a shifting ridge, a deep trough moving off of the Southeastern United States Coast is helping to churn up an area of disturbed weather northeast of The Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center has given the unorganized complex of showers and thunderstorms a 60% chance of further tropical or sub-tropical development over the next five days. What does this mean for the local area? Nothing. What does this mean for the Eastern U.S.? Perhaps some wet weather and increased surf over the Memorial Day Weekend. What does this mean for the tropical season? Very little. As we have noted previously, pre-season storms have not served as a pre-cursor to a more active season. Over a 50 year period through 2015, 14 hurricane seasons brought a total of 17 early-season depressions, storms and hurricanes. Looking at the simple numbers alone, there are no trends. April or May storms are not necessarily a pre-cursor to an active season. Actually, 7 of the 14 years finished with fewer named storms than the averages-12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
For updates, stay connected with Meteorologist Josh Eachus: