Following a midweek respite from the cold, winter weather is poised to return to south Louisiana soon, with freezing temperatures expected throughout Mardi Gras weekend.
A cold front is expected to erase comfortable mid-week highs in the upper 70s before plunging much of the Baton Rouge metro into freezing weather, according to the National Weather Service.
A polar vortex has been entrenching much of the Upper Midwest with brutally cold temperatures and the impacts of that will begin stretching to Louisiana and other parts of the South starting Friday, according to weather officials.
“Enjoy the next couple of days while it’s warm,” said Phil Grigsby, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service.
Though there’s a high level of uncertainty in the models forecasters use, there could be some potential for snow and wintery weather early next week. But meteorologists say their confidence in that prediction was low as of Tuesday afternoon, due to several uncertainties.
Nevertheless, the predicted temperatures will be far below the 60-degree average for this time of year.
Sunday may likely be the coldest day of the winter that the Baton Rouge metro has seen so far this winter, with highs that may struggle to rise above the 30s in some areas, Grigsby said.
Rain and thunderstorms are also expected to move into the region head of the cold front, bringing the potential for dense fog during morning rush hours. Much of the area should be dry before temperatures drop, Grigsby said.
Though the weather service hasn’t issued a hard-freeze advisory, a warning for when temperatures drop below 28 degrees, the cold snap could still pose a danger to people who lack reliable heating.
Officials also recommend putting plants and pets inside if temperatures drop below freezing.