Here are latest Baton Rouge-area rain projections, Halloween event changes _lowres

 

Sheets of driving rain, booming thunder and flashes of lightning might provide the perfect backdrop for a Halloween movie, but the real-life possibility of that weather prompted most officials to move trick-or-treating up to Friday evening in an attempt to keep children safe.

In addition, organizers of the fifth annual Baton Rouge Halloween Parade decided to roll at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to avoid heavy rainfall expected to begin in the afternoon. The parade was set to roll at 2 p.m.

“We want to make sure everyone is safe and has a good time,” said Kelley Criscoe Stien, president of the 10/31 Consortium, a nonprofit group of Halloween enthusiasts.

The Zombie Bash event — costumed races followed by a mass performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — is still scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Baton Rouge but could be canceled if there is lightning, event organizers said.

Other events scheduled for Saturday could change times or dates to avoid the weather.

One is Baton Rouge Green’s annual tree sale, which has been changed to 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. The sale will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting.

[RELATED: Our Views: Moving trick-or-treat day the right call on Halloween safety]

Forecasters say 1 to 4 inches of rain is expected Saturday and Sunday, significantly less than the 8 to 11 inches of rain that drenched the Baton Rouge area last weekend.

Then again, Baton Rouge was expected to get between 3 and 6 inches of rain last weekend and ended up with more than 10, said Barry Keim, state climatologist.

“In weather systems like this, there’s always potential (for heavier rain),” he said.

Keim added that, “The bulk of rain will fall on Saturday, which is unfortunate for everyone with Halloween plans.”

Three area cities — Baker, Gonzales and Donaldsonville — will keep trick or treat on Saturday.

Officials in Zachary held a meeting Thursday and decided to move trick or treat to 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday.

There is still a chance of rain on Friday night starting in the western part of the state, with a 40 percent chance in Lafayette, 30 percent in Baton Rouge and 20 percent in New Orleans.

That means there is still a chance some rain could fall on trick-or-treaters Friday, “but it’s a safer bet than Saturday,” Keim said.

Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.