BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The immediate weather story is about the rains that are moving into the WAFB viewing area and will be with us through the evening and overnight. Showers and a few thunderstorms along and ahead of an advancing cold front will arrive in time to make a real mess of the normally congested evening commute.
Friday evening's Live After 5 has already been canceled because the wet evening outlook and high school football across the area is going to be get rather messy too. In fact, while we are not anticipating severe storms Friday evening, don't be surprised if at least a couple Friday night gridiron games undergo delays because of lightning.
The rains will stay with us through the night and into early Saturday. The rains should be ending for Baton Rouge by or before sunrise, but could linger a bit longer for more eastern and southeastern WAFB communities. Clouds will be clearing through the morning on Saturday and by Saturday afternoon, everyone will be under mainly sunny skies.
But that leads us to the second key weather story: January-like temperatures!
With the cold front pushing through during the early morning, temperatures for most WAFB neighborhoods north of the I-10/12 corridor will drop into the 40s near sunrise. Yet even with the clearing skies and bountiful afternoon sunshine, many WAFB neighborhoods will struggle just to make 60° for an afternoon high on Saturday.
Then comes the real chill. Clear skies overnight and subsiding winds will set us up for a big drop in temperatures from late Saturday evening into early Sunday morning. In fact, we are currently forecasting lows in the mid to upper 30s for Sunday's sunrise, the coolest readings that metro Baton Rouge has seen since late January. For WAFB communities north of the I-10/12, Sunday morning could bring the first frost of the season. In fact, some of our southwest Mississippi viewers could be flirting with a light, brief freeze.
Skies will stay clear on Sunday, but it stays rather cool with highs on Sunday only making it into the low 60s in and around the Capital City.
Some of you are really looking forward to this cold snap. Others (like me) aren't very excited. Regardless of what side of that chill debate you are on, the weekend cold snap will be just that: a weekend-only cold snap. After a morning start on Monday in the low 40s, highs will rebound into the 70s by Monday afternoon. And Monday begins a warming trend that will continue through the work week, with some of us getting up to around 80° or so by week's end.
By the way, for the trivia buffs, the all-time record low for October 27 is 32°, set back in 1898. That is the earliest-ever fall freeze for Baton Rouge (records dating back to the 1890s).
And here is weather story #3: action in the tropics. After looking completely disorganized through the week, the area tagged as Invest 93L has really started to come together Friday. In fact, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is reporting sustained winds at 40 mph (tropical storm strength), but the NHC has yet to label the system as T.S. Philippe. Why? Because there is no clearly defined center of circulation. However, given the development rate on Friday, an identifiable center is likely to form at any time. Therefore, the NHC is using the newly-created designation: Potential Tropical Cyclone (PTC). So we now have PTC #18, which will almost assuredly be T.S. Philippe by sometime Saturday. Fortunately for Louisiana, all of the forecast guidance takes PTC #18/Philippe to the northeast into Cuba, then possibly into the southern tip of Florida on its way towards the Bahamas.