A slow-moving cold front dumped 5 inches of rain on some parts of the Baton Rouge area over the weekend, and while the downpours didn’t lead to any reports of flash flooding or other damage, it did keep the area soggier in 2016 than usual.
Rains returned Monday before tapering off as the afternoon arrived. There could be some lingering showers on Tuesday, but the entire front is expected to move out of the state by Tuesday evening, leading to some much nicer weather.
In Baton Rouge, clear and sunny skies should return Wednesday with high temperatures in the upper 70s and overnight lows in the 50s.
That’s a big change from this past weekend where rainfall was particularly heavy, especially near Lafayette where floodwaters forced the temporary closure of Interstate 49.
“The big rains were really in the south part of the state,” said Barry Keim, state climatologist.
Particularly hard hit was southwest Louisiana, with impressive rainfall totals of 10.48 inches for Grand Coteau and 12.17 inches at the Lake Charles airport.
“All of southwest Louisiana got hammered pretty good,” Keim said.
In Baton Rouge, rainfall totals varied from 5.12 southeast of LSU, 3.25 inches at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and 4.55 inches at Sherwood Forest. In surrounding areas, Denham Springs got 5.07 inches and Livingston got 2.7 inches.
The Baton Rouge area seemed to make it out of this weather system without much damage with the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reporting they didn’t receive any major flooding calls and local rivers showing a rise, but not to flood level.
Rainfall totals for the year show that this has been a rainy 2016, with some areas of the state having much more rain than others.
“This is not unlike some other El Niño springs we’ve had,” Keim said, referring to the time when tropical Pacific Ocean waters are slightly warmer than normal, which impacts weather events including some rainier springs for Louisiana.
The state average rainfall is 31.9 inches, which is 5.9 inches above normal.
Regionally, southeast Louisiana is 4.1 inches above normal, south central is 7.9 inches above normal and southwest Louisiana is 3.4 inches above normal, Keim said.
The biggest deviation in the state is in northwest Louisiana ,where 18.1 more inches of rain has fallen than during a normal year.
That is due in large part to rains of early March, when a weather system dropped more than 22 inches in some areas.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.