Severe Weather Possible for Louisiana this Weekend
Louisiana residents are used to keeping an eye on the sky on summer afternoons for rapidly developing showers and thunderstorms. These air mass storms as they are called usually blow up when the daytime heating combines with an abundance of moisture and instability in the atmosphere to give those who work outside a bit of a break from the heat indices in the upper 90s.
The forecast for today and Friday across much of the state will hold a threat for more of those afternoon and early evening showers and storms. In most cases, the storms will drop some heavy rain over a short period of time. There could be some gusty winds too. But lightning is by far the biggest concern for people caught in these storms. Because the storms can blow up so fast, you might find it difficult to get to a place of shelter before the storm really blows in.
By this Saturday forecasters with the Storm Prediction Center say a large portion of the state could be subject to a severe weather threat. Almost all of the state from Shreveport to New Orleans could be at risk for storms that produce straight-line winds in excess of 58 mph, small hail, and yes, even the potential for tornadoes.
According to the SPC, you can see their graphic above, the greatest threat on Saturday will be in the northwestern corner of the state. From Shreveport down to the northern tip of Toledo Bend Reservoir to as far east as Ruston will be at a slight risk of severe storms.
Cities such as Lake Charles, Lafayette, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge have been placed under a marginal risk for severe storms during the day on Saturday. The catalyst for this uptick in severe weather potential will be a low-pressure trough that is expected to build in across the area. This will add additional instability to the atmosphere and will raise the rain threat for most of the state during the day on Saturday.
I am sure an enhanced threat of rain and storms with lightning is exactly what organizers of the NCAA Baseball Super Regional in Baton Rouge don't want to hear about. As you know, the NCAA takes lightning threats very seriously and a storm in or around the Baton Rouge area at game time, which is 2 pm on Saturday could and certainly should delay the game between LSU and the University of Kentucky.
Another activity going on this weekend is the Louisiana Department of Wildlife's Free Fishing Weekend. Fast-developing showers and storms could certainly pose a danger for those in, around, and on the state's waterways. We suggest you have an NOAA Weather Radio handy or make sure you have our station App.
We'll be sending alerts as needed, so be sure to set your alerts to include "weather". It's unclear at this time if the severe threat will still be in the area on Sunday. But we do know there will at least be a chance of rain, mainly in the afternoon hours.
Then the mosquitoes will come out and that's a whole other set of problems you'll have to deal with.
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