Bitter cold night ahead, patchy ice may linger through Tuesday
Dangerously cold temperatures will be possible Monday night and Tuesday morning. The wind chill, or feels-like temperature, could be in the upper single digits and low teens for several hours. Hypothermia and frostbite can occur in minutes without proper clothing and coverage of skin. Please do not forget about pets, make sure they have a warm place overnight as well. An outdoor dog house, for instance, is not sufficient.
Next 24 Hours: Tonight, the area is under both a HARD FREEZE WARNING and WIND CHILL ADVISORY for very cold temperatures and biting winds. Though skies will continue a clearing trend, brisk north winds will guide low temperatures into the upper teens and wind chills will be as low as 8 degrees. The cold weather bulletins will be in effect until 12pm Tuesday.
Sunshine and light north winds will aid in further drying of any wet and icy spots on Tuesday but the process will be slow as high temperatures will barely drift above freezing for a few hours in the afternoon. Most areas will do no better than 35 degrees.
Up Next: Tuesday night will also be cold with low temperatures in the upper 20s. That, at least, is a more normal cold for the local area. Clouds will increase through Wednesday morning as the next storm system moves into the region. If precipitation can start before dawn, there is an outside shot at some light sleet, but it is more likely it will hold off until midday and be all rain as thermometers climb into the 40s. The rain will do away with any remaining ice. Periods of rain and even a strong thunderstorm or two can be expected into Thursday morning. With one to two inches of rain forecast, runoff into area rivers could again be a concern, especially if an isolated higher amount occurs. Beyond the rain, clear skies and a warming trend will take hold. CLICK HERE for your full 7-Day Forecast.
The Explanation: As skies clear out, northerly winds will whip very cold air into the region sending low temperatures well below previous records. The Metro Airport record is 27 degrees and the Baton Rouge area record is 23 set in 1909.
Today's high was the lowest on record for the date. Tonight's low and tomorrow's high will also set new records. These are not just for Metro Airport marks since 1930, we're outdoing #BatonRouge Area records that date back to the late 1800s. pic.twitter.com/9tv0pQuUNH— Josh Eachus (@DrJoshWX) February 15, 2021
Most locations will stop in the mid to upper teens. The blustery north winds of 10-15mph will lead to dangerous wind chills of 8 – 13 degrees. Any exposed skin should be covered to prevent frostbite. While sunshine will be available on Tuesday, it will be a struggle to climb above freezing. A few hours just above 32 degrees are possible between lunchtime and nightfall. The next storm system will approach on Wednesday. A surface low will emerge in the western Gulf of Mexico but take a farther north and west track than our ice event lending to a warm air mass accompanying the precipitation into the local area. If precipitation begins early enough Wednesday, a brief period of sleet is possible but warming into the 40s will quickly change everything to liquid. Actually, positioned southeast of the surface low, there is an outside shot and a few stronger thunderstorms Wednesday night. An inch or two of rain with isolated higher amounts is expected by Thursday morning, so we may need to keep an eye on the smaller river basins once again. Cold air will trail this system with another freeze or two possible Friday and Saturday mornings. High temperatures will steadily moderate through the 40s and 50s Friday and Saturday, returning to the 60s Sunday and Monday. A quick hit of showers is possible around Sunday night.
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