Friday, February 21, 2014

Nice Saturday, Rains Return Sunday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Recap of Last Night's Storms

The stormy weather moved through last night as expected and while the event was far from impact-free, most of the WAFB viewing area dodged serious weather-related impacts. However, the area was far from storm-free. Through the course of the night, Tornado Warnings were posted for seven of WAFB's parishes and Mississippi counties and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings covered 8 parishes and counties. And the NWS has confirmed at least one tornado-touchdown in south Louisiana: an EF-1 tornado at approximately 8:33pm in Evangeline Parish, damaging several homes and utility buildings there.

In the end, it looks like locally-heavy rain was the most problematic issue with the storms for WAFB’s communities. While there were undoubtedly some wind-related effects across the region, none were officially reported for our viewing area. However, preliminary radar estimates show an area of 4" to 5" (or more!) storm totals extending over a swath from northeastern East Feliciana and northern St. Helena parishes into Amite, Pike and Walthall counties. The parishes and counties bordering the state line were under a Flood Advisory for a number of hours as those rains undoubtedly created some standing water problems and small stream overbanking.

In fact, both the upper Tangipahoa and upper Tickfaw rivers rose above flood stage in response to the heavy rains, and the latest forecast for the Amite at Denham Springs calls for that site to potentially just reach the 29-foot flood stage late Saturday night. Fortunately, downstream flooding does not appear to be much of a concern along the Florida Parish rivers since (1) most of those rivers were at levels that had them ready to accept the rapid run-off and (2) rain totals dropped off markedly as you go south from the state line.

Weekend / Parade Weather

So here we are with a fine Friday – cooler than recent days, but closer to the seasonal norm for this time of year. It was a little breezy at times, but few can complain about the blue skies and sunshine. The ladies of the Krewe of Artemis have dialed up a great one for their parade tonight: it will be comfortably cool at parade time with temperatures in the 50°s with light winds and clear skies.

Saturday? Looks mighty fine with highs in the 70°s for Mystique's mid-afternoon parade. Clouds will increase into the evening for the Krewe of Orion, but it should remain mainly-dry for their evening parade with temperatures in the 60°s.

Scattered showers are back in the forecast for Sunday ... but they tell us that the family-friendly Firemen's Parade in Addis on Sunday afternoon is still a go come rain or shine. Sunday's high climbs into the mid to upper 70°s, so just bring your bead-catching umbrella to that small-town parade in West Baton Rouge.

Extended Outlook

We're going with a few showers for Monday then bring scattered rains back into the forecast for Tuesday. Rain appears likely for Wednesday. The airs turn cooler for Wednesday and then much cooler for Thursday -- we may even flirt with a morning freeze later in the work week, with afternoon highs for the second half of the work week topping-out in the 50°s!

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend weather!

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