WEATHER ALERT for fifth freeze of the winter tonight
A large area of cold Canadian high pressure will dominate the weather patter over the next three days and cooler air has fully spread over the southeastern United States. Overnight low temperatures will hover near freezing with tonight's low being the coldest of the week.
A freeze warning was issued for much of the area overnight until 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Today and Tonight: It will be a rather chilly Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, as temperatures are only expected to rise into the upper 40s and lower 50s. The first freeze since early December is anticipated overnight, with Baton Rouge area temperatures bottoming out around 30 degrees. Some of the typical cool spots north of I-12 may dip into the upper 20s. As a reminder, be sure that people and pets have access to warmth. Also, some plants have greened up due to the long absence of freezing temperatures. It is a good idea to cover any sensitive vegetation tonight. Pipe bursting should not be a concern.
Up Next: Expect plenty of afternoon sunshine through Tuesday and dry air will keep rain chances at zero through Wednesday. Beyond that, a warm front will lift into the region from the southwest, and moisture will return to the atmosphere. Clouds will increase on Wednesday and rain is expected to develop overnight into Thursday. There are some signs that some areas of heavy rain are possible, so this time will need to be monitored. Fortunately, the storm system will only stick around for about 24 hours; a cold front will sweep through and clear the area out in time for next weekend.
With clear skies and light winds, the Baton Rouge area is well set up for the fifth freeze of the winter on Tuesday morning. Thermometers will dip to 32 degrees and below for just about the entire forecast area, except the immediate coast. Parts of southwest Mississippi and neighboring Louisiana parishes could make it into the upper 20s. By Wednesday evening, a change in wind direction will signal the arrival of a warm front. As this boundary lifts through the region, dew points will rise and moisture will saturate the atmosphere. Initially, clouds will thicken on Wednesday. As the front prompt ascent in the atmosphere, a shield of rain will develop overnight Wednesday into Thursday. The main item of concern for this part of the forecast will be about the path of the associated surface low. If the low stays offshore, periods of moderate to heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms can be expected. However, heavier rain and strong thunderstorms will be possible if the low moves farther north and inland. This should become clearer on Tuesday. The trailing cold front will sweep through the area Thursday night and restore quiet weather for the upcoming weekend. Seasonable temperatures will continue.
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