Hard freeze day 3: How cold did it get? _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Alexis Ruffin circles, looking for the best angle while using her cell phone to take souvenir photos of the frozen mermaids fountain at her family's home, in the 5900 block of Robertson Street Tuesday. Despite having a recirculating pump to keep the water moving, the fountain's water eventually froze Monday-- much to the consternation of their two Shih Tzu dogs, Lilly and Diamond, who usually drink from the bottom of the fountain, said her mother Angela Ruffin.

On the third and final day of a hard freeze snap in south Louisiana, just how cold did it get?

For Baton Rouge it was another record-matching day. For New Orleans and Lafayette, it wasn’t quite as cold.

Mike Shields, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Slidell, said temperatures in Baton Rouge at 3:19 a.m. Wednesday bottomed out at 20 degrees. “That ties the record set (on that date) in 1970 — last set in 1970,” he said.

In New Orleans, temperatures bottomed out at 25 degrees as recorded at the airport and 28 degrees at Audubon Park, not even challenging records of 17 set in 1970 and 19 set in 1886, he said.

Andy Tingler, meteorologist for the Lake Charles Office, said Lafayette just missed tying the record set for this date in 1942, bottoming out at 22 degrees overnight. “It was close; 21 was the record.”

“The record high for this day was 79 degrees,” he added. “Doesn’t it sound nice.”

But south Louisiana temperatures won’t be warming up that much today, he said. “Nowhere close.”

Still, residents can look forward to a warming trend.

Shields expects temperatures to rise into the 40s today, the 50s on Thursday and the 60s on Friday.

“Another cold front will come through in the weekend, but it is not really a strong cold front,” he said. “It will bring some rain, but it’s not going to turn cold after its passage.”

He anticipates highs staying in the 60s into Monday.