Sleet, rain mix reported near Baton Rouge area on Thursday _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Therisha Morris, left, and Destini Colomb, right, lean forward into a gusty wind and wrap up as best they can to try to stay warm on a very cold March day, as the two shivering Baton Rouge Community College students walk near the Governors Building, in between classes Thursday afternoon. The temperature was at about 37 degrees at the time, but the strong winds and a light rain made it feel much colder. 'We can't believe how cold it is!' exclaimed Morris, a sophomore studying business and accounting. 'It was so warm yesterday,' said Colomb,' a freshman studying nursing. They're both from Baton Rouge.

Light sleet in areas near Baton Rouge and into southwest Mississippi was reported Thursday morning as temperatures continued to drop in south Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service in Slidell.

No accumulation of sleet is expected, but the temperatures will continue to get colder as the day goes on, reaching only a high of 38 degrees before getting down to 27 degrees Thursday night.

In New Orleans, the situation will be milder, but still cold, with low temperatures staying above freezing at 36 overnight. A wind advisory has been put in effect until midnight with sustained north winds at 20 to 30 miles per hour with higher gusts. The National Weather Service warns that winds at this level can make driving difficult and could blow down some minor tree limbs.

The change in temperatures from Wednesday balmy weather to what most people woke up to Thursday morning was significant.

The 24-hour temperature change as of 1 p.m. Thursday show a 48 degree drop in Baton Rouge and a 36 to 40 degree drop in the New Orleans area. Some areas in north Louisiana saw a 40 degree drop in temperature overnight.

For Thursday, a chance of rain and sleet mix continues for Baton Rouge during the afternoon with skies clearing up over night. Friday will be sunny, but not much warmer with a forecasted high of 50 degrees and dropping back down to 30 overnight.

New Orleans forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain Thursday, but clearing up for cool and breezy weather Friday.