FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Temps warming up, but freeze possible Sunday night

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Welcome back sunshine! Skies cleared considerably Wednesday afternoon, allowing many WAFB neighborhoods to climb into the 60s. Yes, the warm-up has begun.

Unfortunately, the clouds will be returning overnight, with isolated, mainly light showers possible for the Thursday morning commute and school bus ride. Sunrise temperatures will be in the upper 40s. Thursday’s highs will reach the upper 60s for most WAFB communities with rain chances running at 30 to 40 percent for the day. Scattered, mainly light showers are back again Friday, with afternoon temperatures reaching the 70s for metro Baton Rouge. Given the generally light showers, two-day rain totals for most neighborhoods will be quite manageable, coming in at less than .25″ for most WAFB areas.

A strong cold front is still on schedule for a Saturday arrival, prompting the Storm Team to post a First Alert Action Day. While we are not anticipating a widespread active weather event, Saturday rain totals could go above 1″ for some WAFB neighborhoods. There’s also a low-end potential for a few strong to severe storms ahead of the cold front as it sweeps through the lower Mississippi Valley. Given the potential impact for weekend plans, the Storm Team opted for the Action Day designation as a heads-up to area residents.

Saturday’s front clears out that evening and overnight, taking the rains with it, but the pattern sets up the region for a chilly and windy Sunday to close out the weekend. Highs Sunday will only get into the 40s, with the winds making it feel much cooler.

An arctic air mass will be trailing the cold front and its effects will be most evident by late Sunday into early Monday. However, the latest round of forecast guidance has backed off on the severity of the cold and all but removed an area-wide hard freeze threat from the Monday outlook. The latest First Alert Forecast now calls for Monday morning lows in the upper 20s for metro Baton Rouge with mid 20s (hard freeze) possible only for areas near and north of the LA/MS state line. Freeze durations for the Capital City area are expected to run from four to possibly eight hours, with temperatures rebounding into the 50s under sunshine for the afternoon.

For most homes, this will not be a serious threat for the plumbing, but the Storm Team will keep a close watch on the computer model trends in the coming days to assure we do not see a return to a much colder forecast. While this does not look like a pipe wrapping freeze for most of the WAFB region, take steps to protect tender vegetation and take care of the pets.

After a dry Sunday and Monday, rain makes a quick return to the forecast, with scattered showers and t-storms forecasted Tuesday (Jan. 22) and rain likely Wednesday (Jan. 23).

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