A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Iberville, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge parishes as well as Wilkinson, Amite, and Pike counties. This will go into effect late on Sunday evening through Monday afternoon.
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The Weekend: Overnight and into Sunday morning, a weak disturbance could fling enough moisture our way for some light rain showers or even sleet. However, with air temperatures just above freezing, no issues are expected. The rest of Valentine’s Day will be gray and cold with thermometers barely into the 40s.
Winter Weather: A strong storm system will spread precipitation across the southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi before dawn on Monday morning. Temperatures will be in the upper 30s causing most areas to start with rain. Cold air will rush in from west to east and temperatures will fall down to freezing from morning into the afternoon. This will support a change to freezing rain and sleet for the northwestern two-thirds of the forecast area. Especially north and west of Baton Rouge, freezing rain and sleet may last long enough to accumulate, make travel dangerous and cause tree and power line damage. Similar impacts are possible in the Capital City with decreasing chances southeastward to New Orleans. Even for locations where no changeover occurs, the sharp drop in temperatures will cause any leftover wet spots to turn icy.
The above graphic shows the chance of ice accumulation greater than 0.10 of an inch. The highest probability is 80% likely and that area includes Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes as well as Wilkinson county. Moving southeast, the percentages drop quickly leaving New Orleans with a 0% chance for ice accumulation. Baton Rouge falls somewhere in the middle with 50-70% chance of accumulating 0.10 inches of ice or more. Conditions will not be uniform across the area. Be sure to know what is most likely where you are.
Fortunately, Mardi Gras will be mostly sunny and warm into the 40s to help with melting. See the image above for a map of what to expect in your area. CLICK HERE to view your complete 7-Day Forecast.
While cold, #BatonRouge area thermometers may not go below freezing until Monday. If you have exposed exterior pipes, use this weekend to prep them for the lowest temperatures since early 2018. pic.twitter.com/T3KIlULBFk
— Josh Eachus (@DrJoshWX) February 13, 2021
Cold Blast: Very cold air is expected on Tuesday morning with low temperatures dipping into the low 20s and upper teens. From Monday afternoon through Tuesday, wind chills or feels like temperatures will be in the low teens and possibly single digits. Plan to dress in many layers, minimize exposed skin and spend little time outdoors. A few subsequent mornings could also be in the 20s. This type of cold can cause pipes to burst, so use the dry time this weekend to take necessary precautions. Additionally, make sure to provide a warm place for animals as it will be too cold for them outside.
Reminder: With the threat for impactful weather—winter precipitation—please have access to alerts through Tuesday evening. You can download or activate the WBRZ WX App on your Apple or Android device or turn on a NOAA Weather Radio for bulletins such as watches and urgent warnings. Of course, WBRZ, WBRZ+, and the Cable Weather Channel will have updates as active weather dictates.