It's the first full week of 2014 and it began with the coldest weather of the winter thus far.
Morning lows ranged from the upper teens to the middle 20s. Winnfield, Atlanta, and Natchez, Miss. all reported 19 degrees while Opelousas, Ville Platte and Pine Prairie came in with 25 degrees. Strong wind made it feel considerably colder. The long-term daily average is 39 degrees and the record is 15 in 1924.
Despite ample sunshine, afternoon highs stayed in the lower to the middle 30s, with many sites not reaching the freezing mark. In fact, Natchez, Miss. only hit 27 degrees for a high temperature. Williana in northern Grant Parish was the "warm" spot with 35 degrees. The long-term daily average is 59 and the record is 80 in 2008.
Temperatures tonight will bottom out as the Arctic high pressure moves due east across north Louisiana. This will send temperatures down into the teens all across central Louisiana. I look for the record of 18 set in 1970 to be broken. I also feel that this cold spell will rival, or perhaps even exceed, that of January, 2010. However, it will not be as severe as the early February, 1996 winter storm and cold wave.