Rainy weekend before Christmas
A storm system will develop in the western Gulf of Mexico and add some rain to the mix this weekend. It looks like above average temperatures will return by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Today and Tonight: In advance of the next storm system, high clouds will overspread the area on Friday. This will limit high temperatures to the 50s. Winds will be light and easterly. The atmosphere will continue to saturate overnight so clouds will thicken and a few showers could even break out by daybreak. Low temperatures will be in the mid 40s.
Up Next: A storm system transiting the Gulf of Mexico from west to east will cause periods of rain Saturday into at least early Sunday. The Baton Rouge area does appear to be on the fringe of the system that will separate steady rain from scattered showers which makes it difficult to call the weekend a total washout. Either way, it will be rather dreary outside and the rain could be heavy at times--especially in coastal parishes. Elevated winds are expected as well. Socked into cloud cover with periodic precipitation, small temperature ranges are expected with lows in the mid to upper 40s and highs in the mid to upper 50s. Sunshine will return for Monday and Tuesday, with quiet weather into Christmas. Temperatures will be a bit above average with highs near 70 and lows in the low to mid 40s.
A shortwave trough of low pressure will push across the Midwest and dislodge from the jet stream as a cut off upper level low over Texas on Friday. Initially, ample positive vorticity advection and a southwest to northeast stream of mid-level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will result in a deck of cirrus clouds overspread the region on Friday. Therefore, temperatures will be limited and will struggle to reach 60 degrees. A surface low will develop near the baroclinic zone of southeast Texas and emerge into the central Gulf of Mexico.
Forecast models have some differences in the path of the upper level low and surface low. The GFS model shows a slightly farther south and faster pass across the Gulf. This scenario would result in breezy conditions with clouds and showers Saturday into the first half of Sunday. The ECMWF shows a more northern and slower route across the Gulf. The scenario would result in windy conditions with periods of rain—some of which could be heavy. There is agreement that the local area will remain on the cool, northern side of the system so it will be cool through the weekend with highs in the mid to upper 50s and lows in the mid to upper 40s. Behind this system, an upper level ridge will move across the region leading to clearer and warmer conditions for the first half of next week. At this time, the weather for Christmas looks quiet with slightly above average temperatures—not quite to some of the record readings experience over the last 5 years.
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