Saturday, April 5, 2014

'Wet' for Sunday with a Severe Weather Threat

WAFB Storm Team QuickCast:
- showers & t-storms become likely on Sunday
- Flash Flood Watch in effect until Monday afternoon
- “Slight Risk” of severe storms from Sunday into early Monday
Many of us got a break from Mother Nature today as the rains stayed mainly over the southern parishes.  But down there it was not just a wet day but they had some active weather: pockets of hail reported in Terrebonne Parish during the afternoon and Severe T-storm Warnings issued for parts of Lafourche and St. John the Baptist parishes.  A swath of rains threatened to reach the Baton Rouge metro area late in the afternoon and early evening but that rain shield shifted just far enough to the east the keep the Capital City dry ... and allow the LSU Baseball Tigers to get in their evening game at the Box.
Don’t look for that kind of luck on Sunday: our forecast calls for rain to be a near-certainly.  And Sunday’s rains are expected to come with plenty of thunderstorm activity prompting a double-barrel weather threat.  As a result, the NWS Storm Prediction Center has the entire WAFB viewing area under a “Slight Risk” for severe storms from Sunday into early Monday.  At the same time, Sunday’s set-up for repetitive thunderstorms will mean an over-abundance of rain for some communities and that has the NWS issuing a Flash Flood Watch that will remain in effect until Monday! 
The severe weather threat, while “slight,” is sufficient to get my attention, with roughly equal chances for damaging winds, large hail and even tornadoes.  “Slight” doesn’t seem to apply if it happens in your neighborhood.  But probably the greater weather concern with be the rain totals.  We’re anticipating widespread 2” to 4” rain totals for the viewing area by Monday afternoon, with some isolated totals potentially reaching 5” to 6” or more.  At this point, the models are suggesting that the larger totals will be more likely to the north of the I-10/12 corridor.
The rounds of showers and storms will end during the first half of Monday as a cold front sweeps west-to-east during the morning hours.  In fact, that cold front may be the cause for the greatest chance of active to severe storms.  The weather settles down by mid to late Monday, but we’ll bring in another slight chance of showers -- around 20% to 30% -- on Tuesday as a weak disturbance slides by.
After highs in the 60°s on Tuesday, we’ll see a slow but steady warming trend from Wednesday into the weekend with beautiful spring days through the latter half of the work week.  For now, we’ll put a slight chance of rain -- 20% or less -- in to Saturday’s outlook.

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