Showers and Storms Likely over South Louisiana This Week
An enhanced threat of showers and storms will be a part of the south Louisiana landscape this week. While it's not unusual for the region to experience air mass or pop-up thunderstorms during August the threat of those storms is not usually this pronounced.
On a typical summer day, a threat of rain of 20% to 40% is not uncommon. Given our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico quite often the summer days are peppered with widely scattered showers or storms that blow in as part of the "sea breeze".
Those sea breeze fronts often appear because of the discrepancy between the air temperature over a body of water versus the air temperature over a nearby land mass. Many of our coastal parishes see these kinds of showers and storms daily during the summer months but what we're expecting this week would be like the sea breeze on steroids.
Actually, south Louisiana is caught between the subtropical ridge (high pressure) to our east and low pressure that is centered over the central plains. The circulation around these systems is actually pulling in more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico than if our weather was affected by just one of these systems.
To go with that Gulf moisture there is an upper-level system that is centered over the west-central Gulf Coast. This is providing the lift and instability the atmosphere needs to create rain showers and thunderstorms.
That's why our rain chances today are 70% and 80% as opposed to 30% or 40%. No, it won't rain all day and no, we don't anticipate any flooding rains. However, some of the thunderstorms today through the middle of the week could create localized flash flooding in low-lying areas.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service say our biggest concerns will likely come in the form of frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and gusty straight-line winds. The Storm Prediction Center is not forecasting a severe weather outbreak for the area either today or tomorrow.
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