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An extended unsettled weather pattern will kick into gear on Friday. Periods of rain may affect many of the Mardi Gras events scheduled for the weekend in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Overcast skies will overtake the region with isolated showers possible as well. Highs will make it into the upper 60s with southeast winds of 5-10mph. There is optimism that the most likely time for showers will be in the morning and afternoon hours, possibly clearing the way for Friday evening events. With temperatures steady in the mid 60s, rain will become more widespread late tonight into Saturday.


BATON ROUGE AREA PARADE SCHEDULE, WEATHER FORECAST:

Friday, 6pm – Krewe of Southdowns: Mostly cloudy, 67°, 10 percent chance of showers

Saturday, 12pm – Spanish Town: Cloudy, 69°, 60 percent chance of rain

Sunday, 1pm – Krewe of Good Friends of the Oaks: Cloudy, 70°, 50 percent chance of rain

Sunday, 7pm – Krewe of Comogo: Cloudy, 66°, 30 percent chance of showers


Up Next: Unfortunately, for a busy carnival season weekend of events, off and on rain is expected. Especially Saturday and early Sunday, some thunderstorms may develop as well. Although many parades will roll rain or shine, danger posed by lightning could create bigger issues so hopefully organizers respond responsibly should this occur. While rainfall amounts look manageable, there could be some steadier, heavier pockets of activity. All told, up to 2 inches are the current forecast for the three-day stretch. A cold front will move through the area on Sunday and could provide a slight break in the rain. However, rain chances will remain in the forecast through Valentine’s Day. The tradeoff will be that temperatures are expected to warm about 10 degrees above average. A few afternoons may reach the mid to upper 70s.    

THE EXPLANATION:

As a trough digs into the western United States, deep southwest flow will develop on Friday, quickly returning deeper moisture, therefore clouds and even showers to the forecast area. At this time, rounds of positive vorticity advection moving through that large scale southwest flow are expected to produce batches of rain across the forecast area as that general jet stream setup persists. There will be breaks in the precipitation but they will be best timed out on a day-to-day basis. Forecast model rain amounts are not too aggressive, but two inches or so is certainly on the table at this point. A cold front will drive through the area on Sunday. This cold front could provide a short break in widespread rain activity, but overall, the unsettled pattern is expected to persist well into next week. The western U.S. trough will not budge. Meanwhile, a ridge in the southwest Atlantic will then cause the central Gulf Coast to be locked into a deep southwest jet stream flow. As impulses of energy ride through that region, some pockets of showers and thunderstorms will be triggered. On the other hand, due to the ridge nudging into the Gulf of Mexico, warmer than average temperatures are also expected next week. Several days could bring highs into the 70s.

--Dr. Josh

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