FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Scattered rains return this weekend; Isaias could become Cat. 2 hurricane

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Friday, July 31

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hot and mainly dry weather prevails today, with highs in the low 90°s and rain chances running only about 10%.

Take it easy if you have to be outdoors for any length of time this afternoon, with heat index values expected to peak near 105°.

Heat index forecast for Friday indicating peak heat index values could near the threshold of the ‘danger’ category around 105° this afternoon.
Heat index forecast for Friday indicating peak heat index values could near the threshold of the ‘danger’ category around 105° this afternoon. (Source: WAFB)

Scattered rains do return to the forecast this weekend as a weak cold front stalls to our north. Guidance indicates a band of showers and thunderstorms may try to approach from the northwest later today, but will likely fizzle out by the time it reaches our area.

Futurecast valid at 2 p.m. Saturday, showing scattered showers and t-storms impacting the area south of a weak cold front.
Futurecast valid at 2 p.m. Saturday, showing scattered showers and t-storms impacting the area south of a weak cold front. (Source: WAFB)

However, rain chances climb to 50% on Saturday as some moisture pools south of the front over our local area. And don’t be surprised if you see some rain during the morning hours on Saturday.

Sunday’s rain chances will run 40% and most of the activity should occur during the afternoon.

WAFB Storm Team 10-day forecast as of Friday morning
WAFB Storm Team 10-day forecast as of Friday morning (Source: WAFB)

Into next week, a fairly benign weather pattern is expected locally as a northwest flow helps to keep things relatively quiet. Rain chances are posted at 20%-30% for most of the week, with high temperatures at near-normal levels in the low 90°s.

In the tropics, Isaias was upgraded to a hurricane late Thursday night and remains a Category 1 hurricane as of Friday morning. After a burst of strengthening late Thursday, some wind shear appears to have caused the intensity to level off for now.

Enhanced infrared (IR) satellite loop showing Hurricane Isaias near the southeastern Bahamas on Friday morning.
Enhanced infrared (IR) satellite loop showing Hurricane Isaias near the southeastern Bahamas on Friday morning. (Source: WAFB)

However, the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center does indicate it could become a Category 2 hurricane as it moves through the central and northwest Bahamas this weekend. Some of the same areas that were devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian in August 2019 are likely to be impacted by Isaias.

Coordinates and forecast track for Hurricane Isaias as of 7 a.m. Friday. A new advisory and forecast track will be issued at 10 a.m.
Coordinates and forecast track for Hurricane Isaias as of 7 a.m. Friday. A new advisory and forecast track will be issued at 10 a.m. (Source: WAFB)

Beyond the Bahamas, the official forecast shows a track that could have Isaias skirting along much of the U.S. East Coast. A landfall can’t be completely ruled out in Florida, with additional landfalls possible in North Carolina and even into the Northeast.

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