(WAFB) - We are not expecting much change as we close out the final days of the summer season.
The WAFB First Alert Forecast for the next three days calls for morning starts in the low 70°s for metro Baton Rouge with afternoon highs around 90° to the low 90°s. Be ready for partly-to-mostly cloudy mornings with a return of patchy fog for the morning drive. For the afternoons, while the thermometer will read around 90° or so, the heat index will be climbing into the high 90°s to near 100° until the scattered thunderstorms develop. We are posting afternoon rain chances at about 30 percent for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons.
We will stay with a "summer-ish" feel through the first weekend of fall as well. The weekend forecast currently calls for sunrise temperatures for the Red Stick around 70° for Saturday and Sunday with afternoon highs in the upper 80°s to near 90°. For Saturday, we are setting rain chances at 30 percent, then upping those numbers to 40 to 50 percent for Sunday afternoon.
Around the corner into early next week, keep a 30 percent chance of rain in the forecast for Monday. By comparison, Tuesday is looking relatively dry and may be just a bit cooler with a morning low in the upper 60°s and an afternoon high in the upper 80°s.
The bottom line is it's not quite October yet and we will continue to deal with summer-like heat, humidity, and afternoon hit-and-miss rains for the next several days at least.
In the tropics, Hurricane Jose continues to track to the northeast and is expected to remain just east of Long Island and the New England Coast. The latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast calls for Jose to weaken to a tropical storm on Wednesday and then slowly lose its tropical structure as the weekend approaches. The 5-day NHC forecast still has Jose making a turn back to the south by Thursday into Friday, with it continuing to slowly weaken at the same time. However, the threat for a possible second loop and East Coast paralleling track will mean that a number of Atlantic coastal states will remain vigilant and even a bit nervous as they watch Jose and its post-tropical remnants through the weekend.
Obviously, the bigger tropical story is in the Caribbean as Category 5 Maria has become even "meaner" Tuesday afternoon with peak sustained winds of 165 mph. Maria will continue its trek to the northwest, passing just south and east of several northern islands of the Lesser Antilles, including a fierce sideswipe of the Virgin Islands.
The latest NHC 5-day forecast track takes a potential Cat. 5 Maria into Puerto Rico Wednesday, delivering what is expected to be a devastating punch to that US territory. Maria is then expected to take a more northerly track by Friday as it approaches the Turks and Caicos Islands with the latest 5-Day NHC forecast keeping Maria east of the US Atlantic Seaboard. However, there remains more than enough uncertainty in the forecast down the road to justify serious concerns and wariness by several Atlantic coastal states.