Saturday, December 21, 2013

Severe Weather Threat Today

A very warm, moist, and unstable airmass is in place today. Strong southerly flow continues to pump moisture into South Louisiana. In fact a wind advisory is in place for most of the area as winds could top 20-30 mph sustained with gusts of 45 mph not out of the question. Highs today will be just shy of tying a record reaching 80° at metro airport. We should stay mainly dry for the remainder of the morning.
It’s into the afternoon and night that things will turn downright stormy. The Storm Prediction Center has kept a “moderate” risk for severe weather across our Northwest viewing area and a “slight” risk for severe weather for the remainder of the viewing area. 
I would not be surprised if we see a Tornado Watch issued for at least a portion of the WAFB viewing area around lunchtime. We then could see a Severe T-Storm Watch during the late evening and overnight period. That’s because we should see two waves of t-storm activity. The first wave looks to arrive during the late afternoon into the early evening. This will provide the best opportunity for tornadic activity. Timeframe will be 3-7 PM across the WAFB viewing area. 
Then from 11 PM-3 AM the threat shifts to strong damaging straight line winds as a squall line of showers and t-storms pushes through the area.
Short after sunrise Sunday things should begin to settle down as a cold front sweeps through the area. We won’t see a decrease in cloud cover until Monday though. For Sunday expect cloudy skies with mild temperatures and much lighter winds. Highs will be in the mid 70°s. This will be the better day for shopping this weekend for sure! The cooler air arrives Monday as a secondary front works through the area. Skies will clear by late morning with lows in the mid 40°s and highs only in the mid 50°s.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be dry and mainly clear. The clear skies and calm winds will lead to a light freeze both mornings. Highs will only reach the mid to upper 50°s during the afternoon. The rest of the week will see a slight warming trend and an increase in cloud cover.
As it relates to rain there isn’t much agreement with long range weather models. For now we will keep Thursday and Friday dry but that could change.

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