Enhanced Threat of Severe Weather in Louisiana Wednesday
National Weather Service investigators in Louisiana are still not quite through sifting through the debris that was left in the state by last week's severe weather outbreak. In that outbreak of strong storms, a large tornado descended on the Greater New Orleans area killing one. Video from the storm is very unsettling at best. However, it could be a great reminder that when strong storms are forecast, it's always a good idea to pay attention.
We are certainly hopeful that the events of one week ago will not be repeated anywhere in Louisiana when the next round of inclement weather is forecast to move over and across the state. As of now, the Storm Prediction Center is suggesting that almost all of Louisiana will be under at least a slight threat of severe storms.
But as you can see by the graphic provided by the SPC most of the state will be at an even greater threat than "slight". The vast majority of the western and southern perimeter of the state will be under an "enhanced threat" while cities like Baton Rouge, Monroe, and Bogalusa will actually be under a "moderate" threat of strong storms. Here is how the National Weather Service defines each of those risks.
Along the I-10 corridor, we are certainly expecting some nasty storms. Will they be enough to close schools? Only time and your particular school system's administrators can say for sure. But that is one aspect of this potential severe weather outbreak we will be watching for you.
For today your biggest weather worry might be gusty winds. Forecasters are telling us that wind gusts of 15 to 20 mph will be common this afternoon. You can expect those winds to increase during the day tomorrow ahead of the approaching frontal system. There could be wind advisories posted and certainly those contemplating a trip to the area's lakes, bays, rivers, and bayous should be keenly aware of the danger.
The timing of the stronger storms suggests that Wednesday afternoon, maybe lunchtime or a little later is when the worst of the weather will be moving across Lake Charles and western sections of Acadiana. The storm system will push eastward through the afternoon and the Lafayette area will likely feel the stronger storms just about the time schools dismiss on Wednesday.
The threat of high winds and possible tornadoes are considered to be the most likely threats from this passing storm system on Wednesday. No, we can't rule out small hail and there is a potential for some street flooding in some of the heavier downpours. However, rainfall rates from the system as a whole are not expected to be much more than an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half.
The storm system should exit the area late in the day on Wednesday and behind the system, we can expect some very nice conditions into the weekend. This is nice because we are starting to hit our stride when it comes to festivals. Even though there are some festivals that we can only dream about attending.
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