BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Our rainy weather of the last couple of days will continue for another two to three days as the large-scale pattern largely remains unchanged. An upper-level trough of low pressure parked to our north, combined with periodic disturbances and abundant tropical moisture will result in rain chances of 80% or better through Wednesday, dropping to 50% to 60% by Thursday. A quieter pattern should finally arrive by the weekend.
NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is currently projecting an additional 1″ to 2″ of rain on average for the Baton Rouge area over the next seven days, but locally higher amounts are all but guaranteed. Heavier storms on any given day through Thursday will be capable of producing localized flooding as plenty of tropical moisture remains in place. Isolated strong to severe storms will also be possible, with the Storm Prediction Center keeping essentially all of our viewing area under a Level 1 (Marginal) risk of severe weather through Thursday morning.
The other thing we will continue to track through the week will be a significant plume of Saharan dust that’s moving through the Caribbean as of Tuesday afternoon and expected to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast and southeastern states by late in the week. We may see some of the dust impact the Baton Rouge local area as soon as late Wednesday, but the greatest concentrations are currently expected from Friday into Saturday. While Saharan dust moving across the Atlantic is a regular occurrence, some reports out of the Caribbean are indicating this is the most significant plume some areas have seen in decades.
In terms of impacts, the main concern is the negative impact to air quality for those with respiratory issues. We can also expect hazy skies and the drier, more stable air helping to keep our rain chances on the low side from Friday into Saturday. One upside is an increased potential for more colorful sunrises and sunsets.
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