TORNADO WATCH until 3pm
A cold front will push into the area on Thursday. Be weather aware through afternoon, but we can let our guard down after that with beautiful weather pegged for the last weekend of April.
Today and Tonight: Thursday will bring rain and thunderstorms ahead of and along a cold front. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a 2 out of 5, “slight” risk for severe weather for the possibility of damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado. Yes, this is our fifth risk of severe weather in about three weeks’ time. Remember to take each seriously, as even if severe weather has not affected your home, many of these events have produced damage in parts our forecast area. In addition to this, expect downpours with much of the area receiving 1-3” of rain. As is common along the Gulf Coast, some isolated higher amounts could occur resulting in street and poor drainage flooding. Rain and thunderstorms will begin to taper by 3pm.
Safety Information: Stay in touch with the forecast today, know your severe weather plan, have a way to receive alerts and we’ll get through this event safely. Never rely on an outdoor warning siren; if that is your main way of hearing warnings, you have little hope of hearing them indoors. Have a NOAA Weather Radio in your home or business, and activate the free WBRZ WX App. on your Apple or Android device. Identify the safest place in your home or business. Often a small room, on the lowest floor, away from windows, near the center of the house is your best option. If you live in a mobile home, you should leave and go to a sturdy structure when a watch is issued, and remain there until the threat is over. When a warning issued, put on hard-soled shoes, go to your safe shelter and cover your head until the threat passes. Also, leash up your pets and bring them along so you are not separated. As for commuting in heavy rain, please remember not to drive on flooded roads. You risk stalling and becoming stranded, putting a strain on the resources of our first responders.
Up Next: Friday will begin cooler and drier with temperatures in the low 60s climbing into the upper 70s on a mostly sunny afternoon. A beautiful weekend is ahead and outdoor events such as BREC's Pets and Paddling to benefit Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge should be excited! Sunny skies and slightly above average temperatures will remain for the weekend. Highs will be in the low to mid 80s with lows in the upper 50s and low 60s.
An upper level trough and associated surface low and cold front will move into the region on Thursday. A moist airmass should be in place ahead of the front with dewpoints in the upper 60s. This will fuel thunderstorms in the Baton Rouge area on Thursday morning. Enough wind shear and instability should be available for a few strong thunderstorms. An isolated tornado threat along with potential for damaging wind and hail would exist with the stronger cells during this time. Given the position of the front and parallel orientation of upper level winds, a squall line should organize by mid-morning. By this time, instability should increase but helicity will be reduced and therefore the tornado threat should be a bit lower. However, this feature would create the greatest risk for damaging wind gusts. Combining the aforementioned two scenarios, the Storm Prediction Center as placed the entire 13 Parish, 3 County forecast area in a 2 out of 5, “slight risk” for severe weather.
In addition to this, the storm system is expected to slow over our area. 1-3” of rainfall is expected from storm downpours but as usual in our region, some isolated higher amounts are likely. Totals in the 3-4” range could create street and poor drainage flooding as well as rises on fast response streams. For this reason, the Weather Prediction Center has also highlighted our area for the possibility of excessive rain.
The main area of precipitation will push east by the late afternoon hours and expect some sunshine to return before setting this evening. As a result, the daily high temperature may well be achieved just prior to dusk. An upper level trough will linger over the area on Friday allowing enough instability for isolated showers to develop due to daytime warming. A clear, mild weekend will follow, but it will not be as cool behind that front as this past one. A mid-level ridge will pass over the area Sunday through Monday maintaining a dry, seasonably warm stretch of weather.
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