Monday, March 12, 2012

Flood Concerns

Torrential rains have impacted parts of south Louisiana since late last night, particularly in areas just north of Lafayette. As of late Monday morning, serious flooding is being reported around portions of Carencro. Carencro Police have reported flooded homes requiring the rescue of stranded residents. A middle school bus also got stranded in high waters, forcing the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office to assist in rescuing 16 students. Sections of I-49 in both directions north of Lafayette have also been closed because of high water.

Doppler radar makes it easy to see why that area is dealing with serious flooding, with estimates that 10" to 12" or more of rain has occurred since late last night. In fact, a USGS rain gauge at Bayou Vermilion near Carencro reported over 10 inches of rain in just 6 hours!

Doppler radar rain estimate through mid-morning on Monday.
The culprit for this morning's heavy rains has been a nearly stationary 'outflow boundary' left behind by last night's storms. The boundary is serving as a focus for new storm development this morning, and with little movement in the boundary itself, we are seeing a 'training' effect with the storms -- meaning storms are developing and moving over the same areas like train cars on a track. The threat of heavy rains is increasing around metro Baton Rouge as we get closer to lunchtime because this boundary is essentially overhead and heavy storms are moving in from the west.

The duration of heavy rains is very difficult to forecast in events like these with 'training' storms, but I definitely think some street flooding will be possible as we head into the early afternoon hours. Additionally, an isolated severe storm is possible. In fact, as of this writing, the storm approaching Iberville Parish in the image above is showing some rotation.

We will be monitoring developments throughout the day and will bring you any updates as needed. In the meantime, be sure to follow the rains with our Interactive Radar. Also, don't forget to download our Titan9 weather app for your smartphone: WAFB Apps

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