New season, new weather pattern?
10:50pm Thursday will mark the earliest beginning to astronomical spring since 1896. Of course, climatological spring began on March 1 and it has felt like spring in the Capital Area for quite some time now.
Today and Tonight: Awaiting a pattern change, warm temperatures will continue with Thursday afternoon high temperatures reaching into the mid 80s. Isolated showers and thunderstorms may flare up during the afternoon hours. Overnight will be partly cloudy with patchy fog and low temperatures near 70.
Up Next: A cold front will creep into the area late Friday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop, especially in the evening and overnight. The front will move slowly enough and with a north to south fashion such that severe weather and heavy rain are not expected. However, showers will remain possible through much of the weekend. The passage will also change temperatures for the cooler with highs closer to 70 both Saturday and Sunday. It will not last though. Per the Climate Prediction Center, the first full week of spring is looking warmer than average across the Baton Rouge area and southeast United States. For reference, average temperatures are highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 50s. In fact, some record highs could be challenged by the end of next week.
An upper level ridge will yield just enough for a weak trough to the north to drive a cold front through the local area on Friday night. There is virtually no dynamic support for this surface boundary and therefore it will not create any severe weather. Thunderstorms and brief downpours are possible though due to recent warmth and humidity. For the same reason there will not be severe weather, the lack of significant upper level winds, there will not be much movement with the front over the weekend. It will essentially stall over the northern Gulf of Mexico. With southwesterly flow aloft, mainly cloudy skies will be maintained and a few weak disturbances in the upper levels may cause some times of showers. Beneath the clouds, and with newfound northerly winds, temperatures will return to average over the weekend. The boundary will wash out by early next week and the ridge will try to reestablish leading to moderating temperatures and diminishing rain chances. Highs in the mid 80s are likely for the middle of next week.
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