Low wind chills, freezing temperatures on the way
A strong cold front will move into the local area Monday night. Tuesday will be blustery and cold followed by the first freeze of the season on Wednesday morning.
Today and Tonight: Expect another mild day in the Capital Area as high temperatures have a run into the upper 70s. Clouds will increase through the day with isolated showers possible late in the afternoon. Most of the day will be dry. Light rain will increase in coverage shortly after dark as a cold front marches into the region. This front will cause winds to shift northwest and increase to 10-20mph and temperatures will begin falling rapidly, ending up in the mid to upper 30s by dawn Tuesday.
Overnight, a few sleet pellets could mix in with rain just before it ends. This would be most likely in southwest Mississippi or neighboring Louisiana parishes. However, if any sleet does occur, no impact is expected due to above freezing ground temperatures. You likely would not even notice any sleet unless you were outside. Most, if not all, precipitation will be wrapped up before daybreak Tuesday.
Up Next: Winds will remain elevated on Tuesday. While clouds will slowly break into the afternoon hours, any sunshine will be overcome by stiff winds and air temperatures will not warm far beyond the upper 30s and low 40s. The 10-20mph breezes will cause wind chills, or feels-like temperatures to stay in the upper 20s and low 30s all day. With winds decreasing overnight and clear skies, the area is poised to meet freezing for the first time this season. Lows will dip into the mid 20s along and north of I-12 and upper 20s and low 30s south of I-10. Take precautions for sensitive vegetation and make sure livestock or pets have access to warmth. Especially north of I-12, it might be a good idea to take the recommended pipe precautions out of an abundance of safety. Sunshine will guide high temperatures back into the low 50s on Wednesday and the upper 50s on Thursday though some rain may return to the area. A cool, albeit relatively warmer, and dry weekend is ahead.
The Tropics: For the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days. This is the final official month of hurricane season.
A deep trough will lunge southward across the United State on Monday and then envelop the eastern half of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday. The trough will drive a potent cold front through the local area by Tuesday morning. The front is a fast-mover and will arrive in northwestern parishes and counties around 9pm Monday and clear the coast by daybreak Tuesday. Moisture will pool ahead of the boundary and frontal lift will allow an area of rain to develop. Intensity and therefore amounts will be rather light, though most locations should receive precipitation. Very cold air rushing in behind the front will drop temperatures in the low levels of the atmosphere fast enough such that some sleet pellets could mix with rain. Since temperatures have been above freezing all season long thus far, and should be through the end of the precipitation, the conditional chance of some isolated sleet will not cause any impacts and will go unnoticed by most. Precipitation is expected to end by daybreak Tuesday. The greatest impact from this cold blast will be the wind chill and temperatures. Despite some clearing on Tuesday, strong north winds of 10-20mph will continue to advance cold air into the region. Not only will this overcome any sun to prevent warming, but the blustery conditions will cause air temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s to feel like they are in the upper 20s and low 30s. This wind chill factor will continue into Wednesday morning, albeit not as significant as winds slacken.
However, Wednesday morning is when air temperatures will be tumbling below freezing for the first time this season. Model guidance suggests that a hard freeze (<25°) is even possible for locations along and north of I-12. Expect bulletins from the National Weather Service to detail these possibilities. A slow warming trend will begin on Wednesday afternoon with some showers back in the picture by Thursday. Next weekend, high temperatures will return to the 60s.
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