(WAFB) - This morning's area lows put new records on the books for January 7th for many WAFB communities. Weather Watcher reports indicate that isolated pockets of lows in the 'teens reached as far south as Thibodaux, with a 'hard freeze' extending all the way to the coast. Morgan City and Galliano both bottomed-out at 22 degrees, and even Grand Isle reported a low of 26 degrees!
For Baton Rouge's Metro Airport (BTR), the freeze persisted through noon, a total freeze duration of more than 21 hours. BTR temps were at 26 degrees or below ('hard freeze') for more than 13 hours.
At McComb Airport (MCB), temperatures dropped below freezing before midnight on the 5th and didn't climb above freezing until after 1 p.m. today -- that's more than 37 consecutive hours below freezing; for MCB, the 'hard freeze' extended almost 20 hours!
And we're not done with the 'hard freezes' yet! Much of the northern half of the WAFB viewing area will be back at or below freezing soon after sunset, with another round of bitterly cold temperatures returning overnight into Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for overnight into Wednesday
Although readings won't be quite as low as what we saw for Tuesday morning, the differences won't be more than a couple of degrees at most for the majority of viewing neighborhoods. We expect another round of 'teens for areas near and north of the LA/MS state line, with pockets of readings in the upper 'teens all the way to the I-12 corridor. Look for lows around 20° for metro Baton Rouge -- just 1 degree above this morning's record low. If Metro Airport does drop to 20 degrees, it would tie the record low for January 8th.
Once again, 'hard freeze' conditions (26 degrees or lower for several hours) may extend as far south as Morgan City and Houma, with freezing temperatures again reaching across the coastal marshes. Even Grand Isle likely sees temperatures at or below freezing for a few hours early Wednesday.
Then, thankfully, that should be the end of this Arctic blast, with temps expected to climb into the upper 40s to low 50s for just about everyone on Wednesday afternoon.
Some of our Mississippi viewers might flirt with a 'light freeze' for Thursday morning, but most of us can expect mid to upper 30s for Thursday morning, with lows in the 40s closer to the coast for Thursday's sunrise.
Our weather then gets progressively warmer through the rest of the week, accompanied by increasing rain chances, as we await our next round of frontal weather arriving over the weekend. Many could see highs around 70 degrees by Saturday, but the weekend is shaping up to be a wet one, with preliminary projections from the NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center suggesting as much as 2" to more than 3" of rain for portions of South Louisiana.