Hot holiday weekend ahead
Rain chances will decline after Wednesday. Meanwhile, heat will increase.
Today and Tonight: For the second straight day, expect more clouds than sun with isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms to develop. The clouds may help in two regards. First, they will keep highs from getting out of control and many could stay in the upper 80s. Second, they will minimize the heat energy available for thunderstorms, likely keeping intensity in-check. Overnight, any activity will settle with partly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 70s.
Up Next: A warmer atmosphere will build Thursday, allowing conditions to be drier and hotter for July 4th and 5th. Rain coverage will be at a minimum. Evenings will have enough clearing for a fine fireworks display.
Through Sunday, high temperatures will be making it into the mid-90s, with some spots potentially reaching into the upper-90s. Heat index values will be back into the triple digits during this timeframe. High dew point temperatures will keep it stuffy overnight with low temperatures in the mid 70s. Showers and storm chances may bump up by Sunday.
The Tropics: The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean are quiet. No tropical development is expected over the next 5 days.
The Mississippi River: At Baton Rouge, major flood stage continues with a level of 42’ as of Wednesday morning. Peaking at 44.1’ on March 19, the river set its 7th highest recorded crest at Baton Rouge. At 179 days, this year marks the longest period above flood stage at Baton Rouge. The level will slowly fall, but is likely to stay above flood stage for several weeks to come. 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.
Deeper onshore flow and moisture will once again allow isolated to scattered development of showers and thunderstorms for Tuesday and Wednesday. This means 30 to 40 percent of the 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area is expected to receive measurable rainfall. As is common for early July, the rain chances should be highest in the afternoon hours. Cloud cover may be able to hang in again today if enough activity can be generated near the coast and this would limit highs to the 80s for most. Confidence is higher in Thursday and Friday staying mainly dry. With an upper level ridge building over the region, compressional warming may lead to some very warm temperatures as well. Highs in the mid 90s are likely with upper 90s possible. Even though the atmosphere will dry out a bit, the surface certainly will not. With high dew points accompanying the warmer temperatures, heat indices will likely go well over 100 degrees for several hours. The National Weather Service may issue some heat bulletins—especially with many taking part in outdoor activities. A persistence forecast will be carried into the weekend.
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