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Coming above freezing Wednesday as soaking rain returns

1 year 3 months 1 day ago Tuesday, February 16 2021 Feb 16, 2021 February 16, 2021 10:00 PM February 16, 2021 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

After a record cold morning at 19 degrees, much of the Baton Rouge area failed to get above freezing, or even leave the 20s. Ice will finally melt as thermometers rise past 32 degrees on Wednesday and rain returns.

Next 24 Hours: Tonight will also be cold with low temperatures in the mid to upper 20s. That, at least, is a more normal cold for the local area. That is hardly any consolation for those still without power. One caveat to the low temperature forecast—thermometers should bottom out near midnight before climbing into Wednesday morning as winds shift to the east and southeast. Despite thickening clouds, the area should be above freezing by 10am Wednesday, ultimately making it into the upper 40s.

As the next storm system moves into the region, rain will increase in coverage through Wednesday and do away with any remaining ice. The rain could be heavy at times Wednesday afternoon and evening. With one to two inches forecast, runoff into smaller area rivers could again be a concern, especially if an isolated higher amount occurs. A strong thunderstorm or two is possible south of I-10.

Up Next: Expect showers to wrap up on Thursday morning with temperatures in the upper 30s. While, some clearing could occur later in the, clouds are likely to be stubborn and keep temperatures in the 40s. As skies more thoroughly clear, lows are destined for the upper 20s on Friday morning, but a nice long day of sunshine will follow. Over the weekend, highs could reach the 50s and 60s on Saturday and Sunday respectively. CLICK HERE for your full 7-Day Forecast.   

The Explanation: Just what we need—as the National Weather Service describes it-- A complex weather scenario will be impacting the forecast area” over the next 48 hours. A deep trough will slide across the country and cause a surface low to emerge in the western Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday morning. First off, though, cold will keep our attention as most areas stay below freezing for much of the night. However, lows will occur around midnight as clouds increase, winds shift east and dew points climb ahead of the next storm system. Thermometers will climb into daybreak Wednesday and likely be warmer than any time on Tuesday. The surface low in the western Gulf of Mexico will strengthen and take a farther north and west track than our ice event lending to a warm air mass accompanying precipitation into the local area. If precipitation begins early enough Wednesday, a brief period of sleet is possible, but this seems unlikely as precipitation is currently pegged to begin closer to noon as temperatures climb into the 40s.

A surge of much warmer air will jog as far north as I-10 while colder air aloft creates plenty of instability for thunderstorms. Since low-level spin the atmosphere will also be high, strong thunderstorms including some with gusty winds and tornadoes will be possible closer to the coast and offshore. Locations north of I-10, the atmosphere won’t quite set up for tornadoes but, the very cold air aloft could lead to some hail forming. 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.        

--Josh

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