Jay Grymes compares Jan. 2014 freeze to one in Jan. 2010 - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Jay Grymes compares Jan. 2014 freeze to the one in Jan. 2010

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

No power? No heat? For those folks, this is going to be miserable and might be a serious problem for poorly insulated homes if they go without heat throughout the day.

Meteorologist Steve Caparotta did a nice job of showing that while ‘teens in the Red Stick are very uncommon, you might not want to call them 'rare.' 

For Baton Rouge: 23 mornings since 1980 (about 35 years) with lows in the 'teens at Metro Airport. But an additional point worth noting: When we do see 'teens, they often come in clusters. Of the 23 days at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport with lows in the 'teens that Steve shows (since 1980), only four were truly single-day events, with all of the others occurring with at least one subsequent/prior day in the 'teens. 

In fact, there are five Arctic blasts when temps dipped below 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) on three consecutive days, accounting for 15 of the 23 days. So in the end, we might say "23 days with lows in the 'teens since 1980, but only 11 unique events." In other words, when Baton Rouge hits the 'teens, more often than not, it means back-to-back mornings in the 'teens. Still, with 11 ‘events' in 35 years (roughly 1-in-3 years), that doesn't seem to qualify for the term ‘rare.' So the good news is this time is that we are UNLIKELY to follow the more common trend of multiple consecutive mornings in the 'teens. 

Comparing this event to our most recent previous Arctic shocker back in January 2010, it looks like we might see a slightly lower absolute reading Tuesday morning than any of the lows during the January 2010 event, but all in all, it looks to me like January 2010 was more severe:

12 straight days (Jan 2-13) with lows at/below freezing

3 consecutive mornings in the 'teens (Jan 9-11)

Although the low on Jan. 8 was only 25F, temps were at/below freezing at Metro AP from 11 p.m. on the Jan. 7 until almost noon on the Jan. 9, a freeze run of almost 38 hours 

As I've proposed in the past, those prolonged durations are likely a bigger concern than the absolute low. The lows on Jan 9-11: 19F, 19F and 18F respectively. While we might get below that 18F for Tuesday morning, compare those three days to Monday morning's mid-20s, Tuesday morning's possible 'teens and Wednesday's low/mid-20s. And, we get at least a few degrees above freezing each day and into the 50s for Wednesday. 

So, if you made it through January 2010 without any damage, you should be okay this time. 

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