FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Cool, dry weekend ahead

FIRST ALERT 5 P.M. FORECAST: Friday, Feb. 21

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It has been a cool and breezy Friday, but everyone is loving the sunshine!

Mardi Gras weekend forecast
Mardi Gras weekend forecast (Source: WAFB)

Skies will stay clear through the evening and the winds will settle down, but get ready for a chilly evening, with temperatures dropping into the 40s by sunset. Make sure you dress for the evening if you are headed out, whether it be to catch some beads at the Southdowns parade, catch some LSU baseball at the Box, or just spend some time on the town.

LSU baseball forecast
LSU baseball forecast (Source: WAFB)
Forecast for Krewe of Southdowns
Forecast for Krewe of Southdowns (Source: WAFB)

Clear skies and light winds overnight will allow temperatures to drop to around freezing for the capital area early Saturday morning, and the National Weather Service (NWS) has already issued a Freeze Warning to that effect. The good news is the early morning freeze periods will be relatively short, so there’s no concern about pipes. However, check on those that might have limited access to adequate heating and bring the pets indoors if possible.

For those of you that tried to outwit Mother Nature and get an early start on your spring vegetable gardens, cover those tomato plants!

Thankfully, sunshine Saturday will take afternoon temperatures up to around 60°. That means the Spanish Town parade will be just fine under the sunshine, with temperatures for the noon kicking off in the low to mid 50s.

Forecast for Spanish Town
Forecast for Spanish Town (Source: WAFB)

It doesn’t get nearly as cold Sunday morning with Baton Rouge area sunrise temperatures in the low 40s. The clouds will increase through the day, but the First Alert Forecast stays dry with afternoon temperatures climbing into the mid 60s. It will be a mild early afternoon under a sun/cloud mix for the Good Friends of the Oaks parade in Port Allen, with skies becoming mostly cloudy for Sunday evening’s run of the Krewe of Comogo in Plaquemine.

Forecast for Krewe of Good Friends of the Oaks
Forecast for Krewe of Good Friends of the Oaks (Source: WAFB)
Forecast for Krewe of Comogo
Forecast for Krewe of Comogo (Source: WAFB)

Rain is back Monday (Lundi Gras) as a cold front slides from northwest to southeast through the Bayou State. We do expect a few thunderstorms Monday afternoon with that front, but severe weather is not a concern at this point. In addition, early forecast guidance suggests rain totals of 0.5” or less for most of the viewing area. Highs Monday will climb to around 70° ahead of the front.

Rain returns Monday
Rain returns Monday (Source: WAFB)

Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday look to be mostly dry, although the Storm Team cannot completely rule out an isolated light shower or two either day. Afternoon temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s on Mardi Gras (Tuesday), but will only reach the mid 50s Wednesday.

The extended outlook delivers a welcomed and much needed run of dry days from Thursday right through the weekend. Temperatures will be cooler than normal to closeout the week, but the sunshine over that four-day spell should help dry out those yards.

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

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