By: Meteorologist Ryan Davidson
The big story coming up for Christmas is the threat for severe weather, which has become very high in the last 36 hours.
When the warm front surges back Northward tomorrow morning, it will be bringing with it an impressive amount of energy to fuel thunderstorms. Models are indicating that there could be C.A.P.E. (convective available potential energy) values near 1000, this is the energy severe thunderstorms need to form. In comparison, the previous two severe weather events in Baton Rouge had available energy values only near 500. These higher values, expected Christmas Day, (along with the high potential for wind shear) gives this event a big chance for severe thunderstorms, isolated tornadoes, straight line wind damage and hail, hail being the least likely of all the threats. Because of this increased energy and the concentration of it in the Northern portions of our viewing area, the storm prediction center placed the Felicianas, Pointe Coupee, and Wilkinson, Amite and Pike Counties in a moderate risk for severe weather. These are the areas which will be most likely to have tornadoes, though the entire viewing area still has potential. Once the warm front passes there will be rain and thunder through midday leading up to the early afternoon when the cold front will again force the warm wet air upward into more severe thunderstorms. Once the front passes, the severe weather threat will be over. Skies will be quiet by the mid to late afternoon.
TODAY: A mix of sun and clouds with isolated sprinkles possible. High near 74. Wind SW 5-10.
TONIGHT: Becoming mostly cloudy, wind South 3-5mph with showers moving in on the coastline.
CHRISTMAS DAY: Morning thunderstorms between 5 and 7am. Showers and less intense thunderstorms will be persistent through the day. The cold front will time into the forecast area between noon and 3pm and quickly move out. High near 75 and rapidly cooling after the front passes.
WEDNESDAY- THURSDAY: Temperatures fall into the 40s and then the low 30s by Thursday morning. Daytime highs will dip to the low 50s during the day with much more sunshine.
We'll be here in the WBRZ Weather Center through Christmas Day providing you with information on the severe weather. So you can have a safe and happy holiday. Merry Christmas!