FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More rain Friday; bracing for extreme cold and wintry weather ahead
Our cold rainy day is just the start of a long duration stretch of colder weather over the days ahead.
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Our cold rainy day is just the start of a long duration stretch of colder weather over the days ahead. Doppler radar remains quite active and off and on rain will persist into the evening and overnight hours as temperatures continue to hover in the 30s and 40s. We won’t be cold enough for any wintry precipitation tonight or tomorrow with highs back into the lower 40s for Friday.
Additional rain will return at any time through the day on Friday but it won’t rain continuously all day. Clouds and blustery north winds with temperatures in the 40s will make for another very raw day to be outdoors. Heading into Friday evening, showers taper off but clouds linger with lows dropping into the middle to upper 30s. Saturday will bring more clouds and a few showers possible, although much more few and far between in coverage.
Another upper-level disturbance moves across the state on Sunday and will result in a mix of some rain and sleet as it passes. Models show these showers developing by Sunday morning and moving out during the afternoon and evening. Northern portions of the viewing area should be prepared for their first hard freeze Sunday night with lows in the 20s, while areas along I-10 drop to around 30 degrees Sunday night.
The big weather maker arrives on Monday with the potential for a winter storm to impact the area. Precipitation will initially begin as a mix between freezing rain and sleet but could possibly change over to some snow before ending Monday evening. The concern is for the potential of ice accumulation that would result in travel difficulties and evening some power outages across the area. Travel difficulties on Monday look to be almost a certainty but the extent of the power outages will be determined by how much ice accumulates on power lines that those numbers are still being determined. As of today, models show somewhere between one quarter and one half of an inch of ice accumulation possible.
Once the precipitation comes to an end Monday evening, anything that hasn’t already glazed over will do so as our area braces for the coldest temperatures we’ve seen in quite some time. Lows in the teens will impact most of the area with temperatures dropping to around 20 along I-10 and into the middle 20s along the coast. Preparations should be underway now to protect exposed water pipes as this will be a pipe-busting freeze. In addition, make sure your pets have a warm place to stay beginning this weekend through next week. A extended period of cold temperatures will last through late next week with more rain in the forecast by Wednesday and Thursday.
First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry
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