BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Friday was expected to be drier than Thursday, but the rains were even more limited than predicted. As a result, temperatures climbed into the 90s with a heat index maxing out around 100 degrees or more for much of the viewing area.
Friday will act as a sort of dress rehearsal for the weekend weather and the outlook for Monday and Independence Day, too.
FIRST ALERT FORECAST
The forecast over the next four days calls for very limited rain chances with morning starts in the low-to-mid 70s. Afternoon highs will reach the low 90s. For most of the viewing area, the forecast is a welcomed one as we close out a very wet June.
Our First Alert forecast for Saturday calls for morning start in the low-to-mid 70s under partly-to-mostly cloudy skies and an afternoon high in the low 90s. Once again, the afternoon heat index will peak out at 100 degrees or more. Rain chances for Saturday afternoon or set at 20% or less for the viewing area.
Sunrise on Sunday around the Red Stick will start in the lower 70°s with afternoon temperatures climbing back into the low 90°s once again. The way things look for now, Sunday is shaping up to be the "driest" of the upcoming four days with spotty showers at best during the afternoon.
We are nudging Monday's rain chances up to between 20 and 30 percent with those numbers running at 20% for Tuesday, July 4th.
For Baton Rouge's Metro Airport, June 2017's 9.56 inches of rain ranks as the tenth wettest June on record, dating back to 1892. There are numerous sites in the WAFB area with monthly totals well above 10 inches. In addition, the Bayou State had to deal with Tropical Storm Cindy. Although, "she" delivered a softer punch to Louisiana than we had feared.
The bottom line: most of us are happy to put June in the rearview mirror.
Now we swing to a drier, hotter outlook for the next week. While high temperatures are normal for July, a run of mainly-dry days to open the month is good news for most of us.
TAKE EXTRA CARE IN JULY
With summer heat comes humidity, which adds to the heat stress: if you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors over the next few days, please be sure to take extra care in the heat, especially when under direct sunshine. In today's world, with a majority of us spending most of our time in air-conditioned comfort, we are far less prepared for the summer's heat-and-humidity – both physically and mentally. This is especially true for so many people in mid-life and senior years.
The dry-out comes courtesy of surface high pressure and "ridging aloft" (high pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere), often labeled as a westward expansion of the Bermuda High across the Southeast U.S. and Gulf states. This high-pressure pattern may not entirely shutdown the development of afternoon showers but it does greatly inhibit the formation of summertime rain clouds by acting like a lid on the atmosphere and making it difficult for clouds to build vertically and become rainmakers.
It comes as no surprise that the resulting reduction in clouds will go hand-in-hand with more direct sunshine and therefore higher afternoon temperatures. So get ready for what will likely be the hottest 4-day run so far this year.