FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Fourth of July weekend looking somewhat rainy

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Thursday, July 2 - 10 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Although the National Weather Service (NWS) did not issue a Heat Advisory Thursday, it was hot and humid nonetheless, with the heat index at Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport (BTR) reaching 100° before 1 p.m. As the Storm Team mentioned Wednesday, the dust was just a bit thicker Thursday too, with concentrations (PM2.5) teetering on Code Orange for the AQI around metro Baton Rouge.

However, the big difference Thursday compared to Wednesday dealt with storms rolling into southeast Louisiana from Mississippi. The NWS Storm Prediction Center posted southwest Mississippi and a large portion of southeast Louisiana under a Marginal Risk for severe storms due to this threat. The main concern with these storms is gusty, potentially damaging winds, along with frequent lightning. As the Storm Team has reminded you over the years, southbound thunderstorms are often highly “electrified” as a result of the cooler air aloft the can accompany these storm clusters as they travel from north to south.

Thursday afternoon/evening Doppler radar
Thursday afternoon/evening Doppler radar (Source: WAFB)

The afternoon and evening rains will subside overnight, but the Storm Team is expecting isolated rains to return by or even before sunrise Friday. The rains will slowly increase in coverage through the morning and become more widespread into the afternoon. While we do not anticipate an all-day rain for any WAFB neighborhood, be prepared for multiple rounds of passing showers and t-storms throughout the day. After a morning start in the mid to upper 70s, Friday highs will reach the upper 80s to low 90s for most of the viewing area by the early afternoon. However, the scattered rains from midday into the evening will break the afternoon heating, with temperatures dropping into the mid 80s by the mid to late afternoon for much of the area.

Set Friday rain chances at 70% and keep the daily percentages around 70% Saturday and Sunday too. Like Friday, neither weekend day is expected to be an all-day rain, but the action for both days will begin in the mornings and continue of and on into the afternoons. Morning lows Saturday and Sunday will be in the mid 70s, with daytime highs in the upper 80s to around 90°.

Friday pinpoint forecast
Friday pinpoint forecast (Source: WAFB)

Three-day rain totals are likely to average around 1″ to 2″ across the region, with some higher amounts in spots. The bottom line is you may want to line up your “Plan B” for any scheduled outdoor activities over the three-day holiday break.

Rainfall estimate through Sunday
Rainfall estimate through Sunday (Source: WAFB)

Rain is likely Monday and Tuesday as well, with highs in the 80s. The extended outlook calls for scattered rains Wednesday, with a drier run of days, but not rain-free, through the following weekend.

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

Is there any “good news” from the First Alert Team? Well, we can say goodbye to the Saharan dust, at least for the time being, and we are posting the “all clear” across the Tropical Atlantic for the next five to seven days.

Saharan dust plume
Saharan dust plume (Source: WAFB)

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