FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rainy days, Saharan dust on the way

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Rainy days, Saharan dust on the way

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Father’s Day marked the beginning of what will likely be an extended run of rainy days for our area.

Daily rain chances will run 70% or better from Monday through Thursday, with the rains beginning to pop during the mid/late morning hours and continuing into the afternoon before diminishing during the evening.

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The upside to our elevated rain chances will be a reduction in afternoon temperatures.

The high soared to 93 degrees in Baton Rouge Sunday before rains arrived.

For the next several days, highs should top out in the mid-to-upper 80s for most, a few degrees below normal for the time of year.

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NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting approximately 1.5 to 2 inches of rain locally through next Sunday evening, but the First Alert Weather team thinks those totals may be a little low.

Let’s plan on 2 to 3 inches of rain on average over the next several days, with locally higher amounts a certainty wherever heavier storms develop on any given day.

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For instance, one cluster dumped 2 to 4 inches of rain on Sunday a little south of Baton Rouge.

The rainy pattern should give way to drier conditions by late in the week into the following weekend, although those days won't be completely rain-free.

For now, the team is posting rain chances around 30% on Friday and Saturday, and around 40% next Sunday.

One other thing the team will be tracking through the week is a significant plume of Saharan dust making its way across the Atlantic.

Forecast models indicate some of that dust could arrive locally by midweek, with the potential for a significant plume impacting the northern Gulf Coast by next weekend.

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Primary impacts include hazy skies, the potential for more colorful sunrises and sunsets, and poorer air quality.

Those with respiratory issues will want to keep an eye on air quality forecasts later in the week.

The dust also has some potential to help limit our rain chances by next weekend.

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