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Few showers before first 80 degree temperatures of 2021

1 month 2 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, February 24 2021 Feb 24, 2021 February 24, 2021 4:50 PM February 24, 2021 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

Despite some early sunshine, clouds returned on cue Wednesday. They did not stop an ongoing warming trend that could culminate with some highs in the 80s this weekend.  

Next 24 Hours: The clouds that arrived on Wednesday will stick around into the overnight hours. If some gaps can develop and last, this could open the window for patchy fog to form on Thursday morning. Low temperatures will be in the upper 50s and low 60s. A weak cold front will drift in from the north on Thursday and stall, likely north of the I-10/12 corridor. This front could spark a few showers, especially north of the highways. However, most of the time will be dry, rain coverage will be low and amounts minor. High temperatures will reach the low 70s.

Up Next: A similar setup is in store for Friday in terms of temperatures and rain chances. Actually, Friday could work out a little bit drier area-wide with a few more peeks of sunshine. The weak front will be forced north across Louisiana and Mississippi over the weekend, decreasing rain chances, opening some holes in the clouds deck and allowing temperatures to go even warmer. Both Saturday and Sunday could challenge 80 degrees. As the front changes course and falls south early next week, there is a possibility for more organized rain Monday and Tuesday. CLICK HERE for your full 7-Day Forecast.   

The Explanation: A weak and slowing cold front will drop in from the northwest overnight allowing continued cloud cover and isolated showers through Thursday. This boundary will lose its momentum due to the upper level winds and go nearly parallel to the coast, stalling and meandering for several days. A shortwave upper level trough will then push across the southern third of the country on Thursday night and this could help to create some additional lift in the atmosphere. Still, the highest chances for showers through Friday morning will remain closer to these triggering mechanisms north of I-12.  An upper level ridge will then build over the Gulf of Mexico Saturday and Sunday guiding the front farther north and allowing highs to push 80 degrees. It is too early though to call it completely dry on Saturday and Sunday but the lack of forcing and general sinking motions in the atmosphere created by the ridge should preclude any organized precipitation. By early next week, forecast models are trying to resolve whether the upper level ridge can remain anchored across the northern Gulf or breakdown in favor of some upper level disturbances. Currently, the second scenario looks a little bit more likely, which would result in some periods of active weather Monday through Wednesday.

--Josh

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