BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - We’ve been getting some better news as the day has progressed with the severe weather threat for Wednesday evening now looking less ominous than it did during the previous couple of days. That does not mean that there’s no threat, but the threat will be very limited.
The NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) downgraded the severe threat to a Marginal Risk (1/5 on the threat scale) for Wednesday evening and into the night. While the Storm Team still anticipates a strong cold front that will result in a substantial drop in temperatures between Wednesday and Thursday, the greater dynamics for severe weather look to remain north of the WAFB viewing area.
Still, we need to be ready for one or two strong to severe storms Wednesday night, with the primary threat being from thunderstorm-generated damaging winds. In addition, frequent lightning will be a concern ahead of the advancing cold front with these two weather factors potentially generating power outages.
The strongest storms are expected to arrive in the northwestern portion of the WAFB region as early as 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, reaching metro Baton Rouge well before midnight, then continuing to move east through the overnight hours. The Storm Team expects the severe weather threat to end for southeastern sections of the WAFB viewing area by or before 3 am. While there will be lingering rains behind the cold front, just about all of the rain should be east of the viewing area by sunrise.
Most neighborhoods can expect 1″ or less of rain overnight, with locally higher totals along the tracks of stronger thunderstorms.
Temperatures ahead of the front will be in the upper 60s to low 70s. By Thursday’s sunrise, however, most WAFB communities will be in the low to mid 50s. Clouds are likely to stay over the area throughout the day, and coupled with northwesterly and northerly winds, Thursday temperatures are likely to remain in the 50s, quite the change from the spring-like warmth over the past several days.
The Storm Team is expecting sunrise temps in the upper 30s Friday and Saturday. After Friday’s chilly daybreak, skies stay clear with highs in the upper 50s the near 60° for the Capital City. Saturday morning will begin with mainly clear skies, but clouds will slowly increase through the day. Highs Saturday will reach the mid 60s and the Storm Team will add a 20% chance of rain Saturday evening. Rain chances are posted at 50% to 60% Sunday with a high near 70°.
We cannot get out from under the warm and rainy weather pattern that has dominated much of the winter. It’s back to the mid and upper 70s next Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 17 and 18), even with scattered rains in the forecast both days. The First Alert extended outlook does call for the next cold front to move through the area Tuesday or Wednesday and that should put an end to the 70s for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, that outlook keeps a chance of rain in the daily forecast each day next week, right into the weekend.