BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With Baton Rouge area dew points slipping into the mid to upper 60s early Thursday morning, it didn’t feel too bad early in the day. And the humidity remained a bit below the norm for August into the afternoon. It still got hot during the day, with temperatures reaching the low to mid 90s around the WAFB region, but the heat index tended to remain below 100° for most of the region. Exceptions were noted in the coastal parishes, where the Gulf humidity was higher.
The few pockets of Thursday afternoon rains were also largely limited to the more humid coastal areas. What rains that did develop in the afternoon should be gone soon after sunset.
A diffuse, meandering front draped across the southern parishes over the last couple of days has yet to start its anticipated northward retreat as a warm front. The First Alert Forecast now calls for that front to hang around through most of Friday before the northward shift gets underway.
Look for a near repeat of Thursday’s weather Friday. In fact, Friday morning lows may slip a couple of degrees cooler than Thursday’s low 70s for metro Baton Rouge. Friday highs will climb into the low to mid 90s once again. The Storm Team expects Friday to become a bit more humid as we head into the evening, but dew point temperatures are likely to be running in the upper 60s much of the day.
By comparison, August dew points are typically in the low 70s for the capital region. That dew point difference of 3° to 5° may not sound like much, but at this time of year, those few degrees of difference are equivalent to a 10% increase in the amount of water vapor in the air. In simpler terms, it’s the difference between “tolerable humidity” and “uncomfortably muggy.”
The First Alert Forecast into the weekend will come with rising humidity, accompanied by increasing opportunities for afternoon showers. After morning lows in the mid 70s for the Red Stick, afternoon highs both days will be in the low to mid 90s, which will feel more like the triple digits thanks to the returning Gulf moisture. Expect isolated afternoon t-showers (20% chance) Saturday, with scattered afternoon t-showers (30% to 40% coverage) Sunday. Both days will be marked by far more rain-free hours than wet ones, and even those neighborhoods that do get rain are unlikely to see more than 0.5″ for a weekend total.
Rain is more likely all of next week though, with daily percentages running from 40% to 50% from Monday through Wednesday, with those numbers at 50% or better the rest of the week.
The NOAA hurricane experts issued their mid-season forecast update Thursday morning, nudging up the anticipated storm counts. The increase comes as no surprise given the fast start to the 2020 season. With a forecast for 19 to 25 named storms, of which 7 to 11 become hurricanes, the 2020 season is on a pace to potentially become the second most active season on record for the Atlantic Basin.
Only the 2005 season has recorded more than 20 named storms in the Atlantic. That season including 15 hurricanes of which seven became major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger). As you may remember, the storm count exceeded the number of names in the alphabetical list, prompting the use of Greek letters for the six final storms of the season.
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