Monday PM Forecast: briefly warmer before winter has an extended stay
It will be another week of wild temperature swings. Following a mid-week cold front with rain and thunderstorms, wintry conditions will return for an extended stay.
Next 24 Hours: A clear and cold night is ahead with light, east winds allowing low temperatures down into the mid 30s. Aside from areas well north and east of Baton Rouge, a freeze is unlikely. Tuesday will bring mostly sunny skies and continued moderation of temperatures. Readings will top out in the mid 60s.
Up Next: Wednesday will begin in the mid 50s followed by an afternoon peak in the mid 70s. Clouds will increase through the day ahead of a strong cold front. While an isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible in the afternoon, the bulk of the rain will wait until the evening and overnight hours. Once again, the threat for any severe thunderstorms is low, but a few strong wind gusts are possible. Rain will linger, mainly into early Thursday, with clouds likely through the daylight hours. At the same time, much colder air will dive into the area with early morning highs in the 60s and 50s falling into the 40s and 30s by late afternoon. Freezing temperatures are possible several mornings in a row Friday through the weekend. Friday into Saturday, a few, lower chance scenarios introduce moisture to the area while thermometers are cold enough to support wintry precipitation, so continue to check with the Storm Station for updates. CLICK HERE for your detailed 7-Day Forecast.
The Explanation: As a surface high pressure system moves east of the area, southeasterly winds will drive temperatures warmer and into the 60s on Tuesday. The sustained onshore winds will cause dew point temperatures to increase into the 50s and therefore a substantially warmer night into Wednesday. The rising moisture will prime the atmosphere ahead of the next cold front moving into the region on Wednesday evening. A strong, upper level shortwave trough of low pressure will move out of the Great Lakes region and dig southeast sending a cold front into the area. Limited instability will keep most of Wednesday dry and warm with high temperatures surging into the 70s. As the cold front arrives, the lift created will cause a line of showers and thunderstorms to develop. Given the previously mentioned weak instability, and modest upper level winds, the chance for severe weather again looks low, but is non-zero. Periods of rain are expected to linger behind the front on Thursday morning but should gradually diminish from west to east. Clouds will hang on through the afternoon. All of this will lead to another wild temperature ride with highs in the 50s occurring on Thursday morning followed by stiff northerly winds and sharply colder air in the low 40s by late afternoon. The forecast grows more challenging into Friday. While very cold air is highly likely, the extent of it is a little less clear. If the winds can slacken enough, and especially with a few breaks in the clouds, thermometers should end up below freezing on Friday morning. At the same time, forecast model guidance is in disagreement as to the behavior of the mid-week cold front. The GFS depicts a stalled front with a surface low developing in the western Gulf of Mexico and tracking northeastward with a swath of precipitation. In this case, some more rain and wintry precipitation could even be possible Friday into Saturday. The ECMWF shows a progressive front that continues east with drier but colder conditions. What is clear is that well below average temperatures will remain right into early next week with several consecutive freezes likely. The precipitation details should be resolved as we move toward the middle of the week.
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