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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Front to affect first half of the weekend

7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Friday, February 22 2019 Feb 22, 2019 February 22, 2019 6:15 AM February 22, 2019 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

A strong cold front will move through the area on Saturday. Finally, some nice, dry conditions are expected for a few days after that.  

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Friday will be spring-like with warmth and humidity as well as afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Though mostly cloudy skies are expected, some breaks of sun are possible, as highs will take a run into the low 80s. The nighttime will be a bit quieter but quite muggy with lows barely out of the 70s.

Up Next: A strong system will swing through on Saturday bringing another shot at rain and thunderstorms. A broken line should cross the area ahead of a cold front. This is an important detail to outdoor events because these lines tend to be progressive, lasting for a few hours rather than the whole day.

At this time, it appears that the first half of the day will be drier with rain and thunderstorms crossing the area from afternoon into early evening. Guidance suggests that this will be a less organized, “broken” line meaning that a little luck may help some dodge the action. About 70 percent of our 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area is expected to receive measurable rainfall. Parades, and to a lesser extent baseball, can carry on with some rain, but thunderstorms present a danger and necessitate adjustments. Once that cold front passes east, we will get a brief break from rain and have some sunshine on Sunday and Monday.

THE EXPLANATION:

With the local area now south of a warm front and in the warm sector, unseasonably warm and muggy air is being observed and felt. With dew points in the upper 60s, air temperatures in the 80s and persistent onshore flow this afternoon, there should be enough instability with scattered showers and thunderstorms to develop. Activity should wane during the evening hours. On Saturday, a shortwave trough will swing through the Midwest and send another cold front through the region. Although the best ingredients for severe weather will again be displaced to our north, enough instability and shear will be present to generate some thunderstorms. A few could be strong, especially northwest of Baton Rouge and that is reflected in the 2 out 5, “slight risk” issued by the Storm Prediction Center.

As of Friday morning, forecast model guidance is suggesting a broken line of rain and thunderstorms moving through the area between 1pm – 7pm. Some pre-frontal showers appear possible through midday, but likely will not be significant enough to affect outdoor events. As the broken line passes through during the afternoon and evening, there is a better possibility that some lightning occurs, which would be an issue. However, by nature of a “broken” line, some spots could dodge rain altogether. About 70 percent of our area is expected to receive measurable precipitation. Though planners do not like to hear it, this will likely be a watch the radar and make a game-time decision type of situation. A dryer pattern will finally take hold on Sunday as high pressure builds across the region and allows temperatures to steady close to average. Onshore is expected to return moisture and showers to the region by Tuesday ahead of the next cold front that will cross the area on Wednesday.

--Dr. Josh

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