Thursday Morning could be one of if not the last taste of wintry temperatures this season. On average, the last freeze occurs around Feb. 24. At this point, the last freeze registered in Baton Rouge was on January 8. Previously, the earliest, last freeze of the season came on January 11 in 1952. But that mark could be ousted here in 2017 as above average temperatures are expected right into Early March.
Today and Tonight: Bright sunshine is in store for Thursday with seasonable temperatures in the mid 60s. The overnight hours will continue to bring clear skies with low temperatures backing off into the mid 40s—likely several degrees warmer than Thursday Morning.
Up Next: Changes come quick on Friday with increasing clouds and milder temperatures. A fast moving disturbance is expected to produce showers in Southeastern Louisiana from the afternoon into the overnight hours. This means that the LSU Baseball opener and Krewe of Artemis parade cannot be guaranteed dry, but neither event should washout either. Beyond that, outdoor plans will be in fine shape this weekend with partly sunny skies and high temperatures making a run at 80 degrees. Fans at Alex Box Stadium along with Krewe of Mystique and Krewe of Mutts revelers will likely be in shorts! Rain and thunderstorms return to the forecast by Tuesday.
THE SCIENCE: Surface high pressure moving over the region on Thursday will allow ample sunshine and temperatures to warm by about 30 degrees back to a seasonable reading in the mid 60s. Changes come quickly on Friday as the high moves eastward allowing return flow to kick back. Meanwhile, a fast moving shortwave trough in the upper levels will move across the Central Gulf Coast. While moisture will be somewhat limited, vorticity should be vigorous enough to kick out a few showers—especially in coastal areas. The wave will exit on Saturday leaving a mainly quiet weekend. As southerly winds continue, highs will once again be pushed well above average and push 80 degrees by Sunday. Partly to mostly sunny afternoons are anticipated with a weak upper level ridge overhead. Into next week, a slower moving and deeper wave will begin to interact with the area. Several days of gulf moisture will provide the approaching wave with plenty of fuel for a more widespread rain event. Some forecast models are cutting the upper low off in East Texas which could lead to a more prolonged event into Wednesday and thus some respectable rain totals. Right now, the WPC is forecasting 1-3” of rain for Southeast Louisiana, but depending on if whether or not that system does indeed cut off, totals may need to be adjusted upward. As far as temperatures go, above average readings are expected right through next week and the end of the month.