First Alert Forecast: Strong cold front arrives Thursday, turning colder by the weekend...
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The forecast over the next 10 days is filled with way more uncertainty than normal; and it revolves around the weekend into early next week and whether or not we see winter precipitation, read the rest of the forecast for details on that. However, the forecast over the next few days is fairly easy and in a word it will be warm!
Tonight will be warm and muggy again, at least by February standards, with lows by Wednesday morning ranging from the upper 50s north of I-10 to the low 60s at the coast. Fog will likely be a major problem overnight with visibility down to near zero beginning early Tuesday night and continuing well after sunrise Wednesday. Give yourself plenty of time to get to work or school, and use extra caution on the roads.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible Wednesday as a cold front approaches Southwest Louisiana, it will not move through until sometime Thursday. The chance of rain is 40% for Wednesday and 80% for Thursday. Severe weather does not look likely at this time, and rainfall should not be too excessive to cause problems. Temperatures will remain warm until the front arrives with highs in the 70s Wednesday, but it will drop by 15 to 20 degrees once the front moves through Thursday.
Uncertainty grows exponentially Friday through at least Tuesday, and this part of the forecast could change drastically with time. For now I am giving you what I expect based on the latest model data and my gut feeling on the situation.
Friday will be a cloudy and cool day for sure with highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s. We may see a few showers early Friday, but they will likely be limited. Saturday and Sunday will be cloudy with arctic air building in under the clouds. The chance of precipitation in any form is very low both days, and thus I expect no issues. Temperatures will be rather chilly with lows Saturday in the 30s and 20s by Sunday; afternoon highs will be raw with 40s both days. We may see a little sunshine Sunday, but that will not warm things up. If you have outdoor plans this weekend you may want to move indoors!
An upper level disturbance may cross over SWLA Monday into Tuesday, and that is likely to cause precipitation to form. This is where it comes down to will it be cold enough for anything other than rain? And there is more agreement on this from the computer models today than yesterday. However, this is a bog change from yesterday, so I am not 100% buying into this idea just yet. Anytime the computer models show big changes like this you have to take anything they show with a huge grain of salt and expect more changes with time.
Here’s the bottom-line on the uncertainty, the 2 computer models that forecast that far out in time are showing somewhat more consistent forecasts today, but that is a stark difference from the past few days. For now we wait and see if the models will remain on a consistent forecast before jumping into the idea of winter precipitation occurring. By this weekend the short-term models will begin to weigh in on the forecast too. But do know that most weather apps, other than the KPLC First Alert Weather App, rely solely on computer model data and those may be showing snow for the weekend or early next week. But our app is not showing that because of the uncertainty I outlined above. History says this time of the year is the coldest, so it makes sense that cold air would arrive. Stay tuned, and try to remember that social media is filled with people that post model data with no context, we do NOT do that here at KPLC.
Chief Meteorologist Wade Hampton
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