Front to increase late week rain chances
The high pressure that has kept conditions warm and dry will continue through Wednesday. A better chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms will come into the forecast by Thursday and Friday.
Today and Tonight: Another mostly to partly sunny day is ahead with high temperatures peaking in the low 90s. You will notice the humidity too as winds remain light and southerly. Overnight will be mostly clear and muggy with lows in the low 70s.
Up Next: A weakening frontal system will approach from the northwest on Thursday. This brings with it enough instability and lift to return isolated, afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Rain coverage will be around 20 to 40 percent into the weekend as the front stalls and fragments over our area. Friday appears to bring the best shot at precipitation. Since the shower activity will not be widespread, most locations will remain warm. Highs reach the low 90s and lows will stop in the low 70s through Sunday.
The Mississippi River: At Baton Rouge, major flood stage continues with a level of 43.7’ as of Wednesday morning. Peaking at 44.1’ on March 19, the river set its 7th highest recorded crest at Baton Rouge. At 143 days, this year marks the longest period above flood stage at Baton Rouge. With continued heavy rain events in the Midwest, runoff will result in a second, higher crest in early June. The current forecast is for the level to reach 44.5’, which would be one of the top five highest crests on record. The Morganza Spillway will be opened to mitigate flood risk downstream into the Baton Rouge area.
This will increase water levels over unprotected areas over the Atchafalaya Basin. If you have property or interests in the floodway, for specific inundation levels, you are encouraged to visit this link. On the Mississippi River, the high water will remain an issue for river traffic and river islands, although some inundation will continue for unprotected low-lying areas. The city of Baton Rouge and the main LSU campus are protected by levees up to 47 feet. Some soggy areas and seepage may be noted due to the long duration of high water placing pressure on the levees. As some of the Mississippi River diverts into the Atchafalaya River, gauges at Krotz Springs and Morgan City will stay high as well. This creates backwater flooding in parts of Assumption Parish in areas such as Bayou Chene, Stephensville and around Lake Palourde.
The better rain chances will stay just west of the Mississippi River through Wednesday. This is due to a large surface high pressure system and upper level ridge remaining across the Southeast U.S. As this complex departs east on Thursday, rain coverage will begin to increase, in areas north and west of Baton Rouge at first. A cold front will approach from the west, which should provide the lift needed to spark development while a touch more instability is anticipated due to the lowering atmospheric heights associated with the departing ridge. Especially on Friday, with the weakening front on top of the region, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected. Into the upcoming weekend, the front will dissipate as a ridge once again strengthens over the area. With that, rain coverage will quickly wane with above average temperatures anticipated into early next week.
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