Wintry mix bypasses us
Clarence “CB” Brown of Morgan City didn’t let the frigid weather stop him from taking his 6-year-old dog Maggie for her daily constitutional this morning. “Maggie likes this kind of weather,” he said as they made their trek through Lake End Park in Morgan City.
(The Daily Review Photo by Diane Miller Fears)
The freezing rain and ice expected in the parish Tuesday was a no-show, but the cold weather remained with the forecast calling for freezing temperatures until noon when a warm up to about 40 at the end of the day begins.
The wintry weather and precipitation packed a wallop north and west of St. Mary Parish but whiffed areas around Morgan City where there was only about one-tenth of an inch of precipitation and the temperature got down to 28 degrees this morning, Roger Erickson, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said.
The less-than-expected precipitation spared the area wide-spread weather-related power outages because it usually takes more than one-quarter inch of ice to bring power lines down, Erickson said.
“The bulk of the precipitation that fell in the form of rain, freezing rain and sleet stopped north of New Iberia, Lafayette and Opelousas. Central Louisiana got a lot of snow,” Erickson said. “But some of the areas in St. Mary Parish did get more precipitation than Morgan City. For instance, Franklin got about one-quarter inch of precipitation.”
Duval Arthur, parish director of Homeland Security, said officials were pleasantly surprised that from one end of the parish to the other there was little or no weather-related difficulties Tuesday.
“We felt like we were blessed that we missed a lot of what everybody else got,” Arthur said.
The moisture falling from the stalled cold front was being driven by an upper level disturbance that formed bands of variable amounts of precipitation, Erickson said. In some areas, the upper atmosphere temperature was much warmer than on the surface, he said.
To the likely dismay of many of the school kids who had a two-day reprieve from classrooms, there was little or no snow in the parish. Erickson said 40-degree temperatures at 5,000 feet above the ground kept snow from forming.
This was the second arctic front that menaced the area in less than a week and the third this year. None caused the degree of problems that had been forecast.
Arthur said, “We didn’t have to open up a warming center and I don’t know that anybody got hurt or killed from the weather. It probably hurt us economically because a lot of businesses shut down during these couple days.”
While the parish can consider itself fortunate to escape weather as severe as forecast, Arthur is concerned that such escapes can lead to people becoming lackadaisical when weather events.
winter or summer, threaten.
Erickson said he does not see any chance of another winter storm in the seven-day forecast. The weather will begin a warming trend with the possibility of reaching the low 70s by the weekend with possible showers.