Dec 18, 2013 7:57 PM by Rob Perillo
While winter officially begins Saturday morning at 11:11am CST, the last days of fall in Acadiana will feel more October-like with highs in the 70s until a cool front arrives Sunday.
A developing storm system in the Western U.S. will engender a milder/warmer flow from the Gulf of Mexico for the rest of the week. This storm system will eventually bring a good chance of storms to the area late Saturday into Saturday night, ending Sunday morning.
Along with milder conditions expect more late night/early morning fog with better chances of sea-based fog Friday morning.
Expect mostly cloudy skies for our Thursday with a few intervals of sun from time to time along with afternoon readings reaching the lower 70s.
More clouds are expected Friday along with the risk of scattered showers, perhaps a thunderstorm, as highs push into the mid-upper 70s.
Fog may not be as much of an issue going into Friday night as more robust southerly winds should keep visibilities from dropping too low.
Saturday will likely be windy and warm ahead of the aforementioned storm system with gusts over 30mph possible during the afternoon into the night-time hours. Temperatures Saturday will once again be in the mid-upper 70s.
The risk of scattered showers and storms will be increasing Saturday with the possibility of some strong to possibly severe storms developing into Saturday night.
The severe weather parameters should be fairly impressive for the area with the exception of an atmospheric "cap" that could erode with time into Saturday night.
Wind dynamics aloft will be quite strong so any strong/severe storms could produce damaging winds...and depending on surface dew points among a few other factors, there could be a tornado potential, especially in the north-central part of the state going into Saturday evening.
Mitigating factors for severe weather this weekend will be that the strongest storms may come at night, when it's harder for storms to "root" at the surface, thanks to more stable Gulf of Mexico air...this means that most of the nasty wind dynamics will be aloft and perhaps not reaching the ground.
Nonetheless, there may be some sort of severe weather watch (severe thunderstorm or tornado watch) for portions of Acadiana late Saturday into Saturday night...if the strongest dynamics don't arrive until Sunday morning there could be a more favorable window for severe weather, however the larger storm system itself should be weaker at that time.
For now we'll play it with the highest rain chances developing late Saturday, into Saturday night, with rain and storms ending early Sunday.
Cooler temperatures will move into the area by Sunday afternoon/evening with skies clearing Monday.
Monday through Christmas Day look pleasant with seasonably cool temperatures. Highs in the 50s to lower 60s can be expected while overnight lows will be perfect for our fireplaces, mostly in the 30s.
Stay tuned for further updates on potential weather conditions for this weekend.
Winter Climate Data Sidebar...So far this winter (fall really) we have had a total of seven freezes in Lafayette, four in November and three so far in December...last year only three freezes all winter long. Winter of 2011-2012: five freezes, the two years before that were in the 15-20 range! Winter can indeed be quite variable in Acadiana!