Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flash Flood Watch Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

East Texas and western Louisiana have been dealing with local flooding, thunderstorm winds, and at least two tornadoes (in Sabine & Natchitoches parishes) this afternoon.

And that same mess is headed our way ... slowly. Very slowly.

We’ve seen passing showers across SE Louisiana and SW Mississippi through the afternoon, and that will continue into the evening hours, but the main line of storms remains well to our west. In fact, our in-house Titan9 model is even suggesting that the heaviest weather may not arrive until well after sunrise on Wednesday.

Titan9 RPM model projection for 7 a.m. on Wednesday showing heavy rains still to the west of Baton Rouge.
But when it does arrive, it will start a long run of wet weather that will extend through the remainder of the day and into Thursday.

Given this slow-moving forecast, the National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WATCH for the entire WAFB viewing area. The main activity should be winding down by the morning or mid-day Thursday, but we could still see a few lingering light rains into late Thursday or even very early Friday before the clear-out really sets in.

The guidance is mixed in terms of just “how wet?” it gets in the viewing area, but at this point we certainly can’t rule out storm-event rain totals on the order 2” to 4” with localized totals approaching 5” or more. Fortunately, most of our viewing area has recovered nicely from the big rains of last week. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t see some flood issues around the region, with a few river gages potentially reaching flood levels. But all in all, we don’t see this event becoming anything like the nasty flood-maker that developed last week in Acadiana.

And once we get this mess out of the way, we should head into a nice looking weekend with a run of “dry out” weather that extends into next week.

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