FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Strong cold front expected Wed.; severe thunderstorms could develop into Thurs. morning

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Tuesday, Feb. 11 - 10 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tuesday was a warm, muggy, and largely dry day as south Louisiana temperatures reflected the north and south sides of a meandering stationary front. Into Tuesday evening, most areas south of the front were in the 70s while temperatures north of the boundary were 10° to 20° cooler.

That stationary front began a northward move as a warm front during the late afternoon and evening. With that front lifting into central Louisiana and central Mississippi overnight, temperatures through the night and into Wednesday morning will run in the 60s for most of the WAFB region. We will also see a few light passing showers through the night, with isolated light showers in the Wednesday morning forecast. The muggy Gulf air mass in place will also allow for some patchy fog for Wednesday morning’s commute.

Pinpoint Quickcast for Wednesday
Pinpoint Quickcast for Wednesday (Source: WAFB)

However, the strong cold front expected Wednesday evening into Wednesday night remains the major weather story. One or two strong thunderstorms could develop in the viewing area during the afternoon, but the primary threat for active to severe storms will run between 7 p.m. Wednesday into the 2 to 3 a.m. window Thursday morning.

FutureCast - Wednesday, 7 p.m.
FutureCast - Wednesday, 7 p.m. (Source: WAFB)
FutureCast - Wednesday, 11 p.m.
FutureCast - Wednesday, 11 p.m. (Source: WAFB)
FutureCast - Thursday, 3 a.m.
FutureCast - Thursday, 3 a.m. (Source: WAFB)
FutureCast - Thursday, 7 a.m.
FutureCast - Thursday, 7 a.m. (Source: WAFB)

There is some good news though. The NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has lowered the severe weather threat for the region over the last 24 hours. While much of the WAFB area is still under a Slight Risk (2/5 on the threat scale) for severe storms, the SPC has removed the Enhanced Risk (3/5) for the northern portion of the area that was in effect Monday. Forecast model consensus suggests the greatest storm energy will pass to the north of the WAFB region.

Severe weather potential
Severe weather potential (Source: WAFB)

However, we still need to be ready for a few strong to severe storms as the front approaches and rolls through. Severe storm warnings are certainly possible during the evening and overnight hours. While an isolated tornado or two cannot be excluded from the list of local threats, the tornado threat seems very low. The main threat with Wednesday’s cold front will be damaging winds linked to strong to severe thunderstorms. Frequent cloud to ground lightning will be an issue too, with those winds and lightning strikes likely producing power outages in the area.

Fortunately, flooding is not a serious concern as the latest guidance suggests most WAFB neighborhoods will receive less than 1″ of rain with the frontal passage.

Forecasted rainfall through Thursday morning
Forecasted rainfall through Thursday morning (Source: WAFB)

Most, if not all of the rain should be east of the WAFB region before Thursday’s sunrise, but clouds will linger through most of the day. Temperatures will drop into the 50s Thursday morning and will stay there through the afternoon. It’ll be quite a change after our recent run of 70° days!

Expect sunshine Friday with a chilly morning start in the upper 30s and a second afternoon with temperatures in the 50s. The Ladies of Artemis will roll through downtown Baton Rouge Friday evening under clear skies. Go and enjoy a great Capital City parade, but be sure to take the jackets as temperatures will slip into the 40s during the event.

Krewe of Artemis forecast
Krewe of Artemis forecast (Source: WAFB)

Saturday starts out chilly too, with daybreak temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40°. Fair skies in the morning will give way to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon and temperatures easing their way into the 60s. Skies will become mostly cloudy and the Storm Team includes a low-end chance for showers headed into Saturday evening. The weather will be just fine for daytime parades in the area, and with a little luck, Saturday evening’s Krewe of Orion will roll through the Red Stick without having to deal with showers.

Saturday parade forecast
Saturday parade forecast (Source: WAFB)

Sunday looks fairly wet with rain chances posted at 50% to 60% for the day. And unfortunately, the First Alert extended outlook keeps scattered rains in the forecast for at least the first half of next week.

7-day forecast
7-day forecast (Source: WAFB)

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