WEEKEND FORECAST … Clouds enter the picture, temperatures say mild

Staff reports

Partly cloudy skies close out the first week of 2012, but clouds and rain will enter the forecast for the next few days.

A daytime high in the mid 70s is expected today, with only a 20 percent chance of rain. Lows will drop into the low to mid 50s.

A 30 percent chance of rain is in the forecast for both Saturday and Sunday. Highs will reach the mid 70s and lows will dip into the mid 50s. A

The rain chance increases to 40 percent Monday for the Gubernatorial Inauguration in Baton Rouge and the LSU-Alambama showdown in New Orleans for the BCS National Championship.

Highs will reach the lower 70s and lows will drop only to around 58. A 40 percent probability of rain is in the forecast.

The rain chances increase to 60 percent Tuesday as a cold front pushes into the area. Highs will reach the upper 60s.

Temperatures may not reach 60 on Wednesday or Thursday. Skies will be sunny,however, with lows in the lower 40s and upper 30s Thursday night.

A dry cold front will bring temperatures a bit cooler by the following weekend. Highs will only reach the lower 50s, with lows in the mid 30s. Chance of rain is 30 percent.