Beautiful weather locally as Ian approaches Florida just shy of Category 5 intensity
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Beautiful fall weather will continue over the next several days as cooler and drier air continues to flow into the region from the north.
One lingering concern, however, is the risk for wildfires, and with that in mind, a Red Flag Warning is in effect for most of our area again today through 7 PM. The combination of breezy conditions and low humidity result in a higher fire risk and also increase the potential for any fires that do develop to spread quickly.
Otherwise, we’ll enjoy plenty of sunshine today, with highs in the mid 80s.
A reinforcing shot of cool and dry air on the west side of Hurricane Ian will result in temperatures trending even a little lower over the next couple of days. Thursday’s highs may not reach 80 degrees in some neighborhoods, with morning lows ranging from the low to mid 50s on both Thursday and Friday. Given what the Florida Peninsula is facing from Ian, it’s even more reason to be grateful for this beautiful fall weather.
Weather shapes up to be quite nice for both Live After Five on Friday and Southern football on Saturday. Live After Five will see clear skies and temperatures starting near 80 degrees falling into the upper 60s. And it should be a beautiful day for tailgating on the Bluff on Saturday, with afternoon temps in the mid 80s under sunny skies. The 6 p.m. kickoff will see temperatures in the upper 70s falling into the mid 60s.
The extended outlook suggests little significant change into next week, although temperatures will begin to slowly moderate. Our 10-day forecast keeps the area rain-free, so we will have to monitor the fire potential and also what may be a bit of a drought returning to the region.
While our weather largely shapes up to be quite nice over the next several days, the news is much worse for those in the Florida Peninsula this morning. Ian has rapidly intensified overnight, with maximum winds of 155 mph as of a special update from the National Hurricane Center at 5:35 a.m. CDT this morning. That places Ian just shy of Category 5 intensity, which is 157+ miles per hour. The storm will no doubt deliver a devastating blow to a similar area that Hurricane Charley hit in 2004. Landfall is expected later today between Tampa and Fort Meyers, with devastating storm surge and wind impacts expected, along with the potential for major freshwater flooding as a slower moving storm results in a prolonged period of rainfall.
There is one other system we’re tracking over the open Atlantic that is given an 80% chance of development as of the 1 a.m. Wednesday outlook. Fortunately, this system looks as though it will remain over the open Atlantic.
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