Warm with slowly rising humidity, rain chances
High pressure continues to build over the central Gulf Coast and has been influencing the comfortable and dry weather pattern over the last three days. Some slow changes will unfold through the week.
Today and Tonight: The workweek begins with sun and high clouds, comfortably warm temperatures and low humidity levels. A stray shower could develop north and west of Baton Rouge but that would not last long or amount to much. High temperatures will rise to the mid 80s while tonight's lows sink to the mid 60s.
Up Next: Surface high pressure and an upper level ridge will push east Tuesday, which will allow a returning southerly wind that will transport waves of moisture over the region. Initially, clouds will build up but as temperatures remain warm enough instability will finally be in place by Wednesday to spark a few showers. By Thursday, a stronger disturbance will increase coverage of showers and thunderstorms into the scattered category.
The Mississippi River: At Baton Rouge, major flood stage continues with a level of 41.2’ as of Monday morning. Peaking at 44.1’ on March 19, the river set its 7th highest recorded crest at Baton Rouge. In addition, at 114 days this is now the third longest period above flood stage. Heavy rain north of the area will cause the river to remain steady or slowly rise through Mid-May. The high water is primarily an issue for river traffic and river islands, although some inundation will continue 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 Stephensville and around Lake Palourde. Like Big Muddy, this is expected to be a prolonged event but is not uncommon for the time of year.
An upper level ridge over the southeast United States will continue to promote dry, mild weather through Tuesday. A weak disturbance just northwest of the local area could allow sprinkles or a light shower to develop north and west of the Baton Rouge area. Rain coverage will creep up on Wednesday as a slightly stronger trough pushes north of the area. Again, this will keep the greatest possibility of an isolated shower north of I-12. Finally, by Thursday, a third shortwave trough will take a slightly father south track and introduce enough lift to spark scattered showers and thunderstorms. Onshore flow will have become well established by this time, so moisture will not be an issue and daytime warming should help initiate some precipitation. The Weather Prediction Center indicates a weak frontal passage that could dry the area out for a few days but will not change temperatures much.
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