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Winter is here and it will feel like it in New Orleans

Today is the First Day of Winter.  It officially arrived at 4:44 AM CST.  We experience the shortest hours of daylight of the year.  That means around 10 hours for us in New Orleans.  Temperatures will actually be what they are supposed to be this time of year with highs in the lower to mid 60s and lows in the 40s.  Overall, a somewhat typical Winter day in NOLA!

We will become much warmer today as the winds shift from the north to the southeast.  High clouds will stream over us all day and that will give us a mix of sun and clouds.  Highs will be in the mid 60s.  Tonight will not be as cold with mostly cloudy skies as a cold front moves toward us. Watch out for some patchy fog into Thursday Morning. Lows will be in the 50s.  

The cold front will move through on Thursday, but it now looks like we will not see much rain, if any at all.  It will be mostly cloudy and still mild with highs in the mid 60s.  We will become a tad cooler on Thursday Night with lows in the 40s north and 50s south.  

Friday will actually be a mild day since the air mass behind the front is from the Pacific, not Canada.  Expect mostly sunny skies with highs staying the mid 60s.  

Christmas Weekend: Get ready for some very mild temperatures all weekend.  An upper-level low will move from Baja California NE into the Rocky Mountains.  This will bring southerly winds over us and they will warm us back up.  Christmas Even, Saturday will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 70s.  If you are headed to church during the afternoon and evening you will not need a coat!  

Christmas Day will continue to be unseasonably warm, but it will be mostly cloudy. You will not need a jacket for any morning church services.  Highs will be in the mid 70s again. Last Christmas we had a record high of 82° in New Orleans. This year we shouldn't get that warm, but it will be close! So much for a cold Christmas this year!  


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The Unseasonably Cool Weather Continues

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An area of high pressure remains over the Southeast U.S. today.  This will keep us sunny and with the northwest winds over us, we will stay cool.  High temperatures will be in the upper 50s.

Another freeze is expected tonight for the Baton Rouge area.  We will be clear with calm winds and very good radiational cooling.  Low temperatures will fall into the upper 20s to lower 30s.  The NWS has issued a Freeze Warning for areas along and north of the I-10/12 corridor from 2 AM to 8 AM Wednesday Morning.  The freeze could last 2 to 6+ hours and that would be long enough to kill any vegetation.  Make sure you bring in your plants or at least cover them tonight!  Bundle up!

Week Ahead:  The area of high pressure will stay put through Wednesday. …

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If you are wondering what is the deadliest tornado ever to hit in the Baton Rouge was back on April 24, 1908 in Amite, LA to Purvis, MS.  (Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. Environmental Films)  143 people lost their lives.  This was part of the 1908 Dixie Tornado Outbreak.  The storm started around 11:45 AM near Weiss, LA in Livingston Parish and tracked toward St. Helena Parish.  2 people were killed in Denham Springs and 2 in Montpelier.   Then it tracked toward Amite, LA where a path of damage was around 2 miles wide.  29 people were killed there.  It then traveled on the ground to Purvis, MS where the greatest damage was and most of the lives were lost.  The damage path was around 155 miles long.  

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