After back to back days in the spring-like upper 70s, Acadiana will be in for a soaking Thursday followed by progressively colder temperatures into the weekend, with a distinct possibility of frozen precipitation "event" by Monday.
In the near-term expect mild temperatures to persist in the 60s overnight through early Thursday with the possibility of a round of fog developing overnight, before showers and embedded storms scour out the fog by morning.
Rain chances will ramp up generally after midnight and increase to near 80-90% by daybreak.
Periods of showers and occasional thunderstorms will be likely for all of Acadiana Thursday along and behind a frontal boundary that will be sagging slowly southeastward. Rain chance Thursday will be near 90-100%.
Temperatures will start out in the mid-60s Thursday but they should chill sharply into the afternoon with readings dropping into the lower 50s by the afternoon.
While severe weather nor widespread heavy rains are expected, there could be a few strong storms that develop that will produce some gusty winds and brief torrential downpours.
In general expect 1-2 inches of rain Thursday.
Lingering showers are expected to continue Thursday night as temperatures drop into the 40s...and that's where they will stay all day Friday.
Scattered shower activity with drizzle and mist can be expected Friday with temperature hovering in the 40s and a stiff north winds making it feel colder.
This weekend will feature plenty of clouds and chilly temperatures along with low-end precipitation chances...highs will stay in the 40s with lows at night near freezing.
A few patches of light rain/drizzle and/or sleet might be possible this weekend, especially into Saturday night but the amounts and the length of time of precipitation should not be an issue.
It begins to get really interesting early next week as the much advertised arctic tries to surge in our region.
At the same time, an upper level system bearing plenty of precipitation should be moving into the area.
This means that Acadiana could see rain Monday, switching over to sleet and/or freezing rain as the day wears on and temperatures begin to drop.
Some hazardous travel could develop and depending on if there are significant icy accumulations, it could become a more crippling situation.
The Euro Model however, remains milder and confines any potential icy conditions Monday primarily in the northern part of the state.
Following any ice there will likely be the coldest air of the season arriving by Tuesday morning.
For now KATC's 10 Day Forecast is going with a compromise on the warmer Euro Model versus the frigid GFS Model with temperatures Tuesday morning near 20° accompany by the possibility of single digit wind chills!
The details are still not clear for next week as temperature forecasts between the GFS and Euro are at times 30-40° apart.
For your information, the GFS Model is going for lows Tuesday morning in the 3-8° range with wind chills at 5-10 below zero!
Mind you the all-time record low for Lafayette was 6° set way back on February 13, 1899!
If the GFS model does come close to verifying, Acadiana could see the coldest temperatures since December of 1989 and perhaps a significant ice storm (or two) to boot.
Either way, some pipe-busting cold will be likely for the area early next week, but how cold, how severe, and for how long are questions yet to be answered.
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