Damaging wind gusts, hail, heavy rain possible today
Warm, sticky southerly winds of about 15mph are expected to persist into the afternoon. Thermometers will make the jaunt from a start in the 70s to the lower 80s. Mostly cloudy skies can be expected early with a few peeks of sunshine aiding the quick warm-up. Normally welcome, any glimpse of sunshine will only add juice to the severe threat today. Expect showers and thunderstorms to arrive after 2pm from northwest to southeast across the forecast area. The Baton Rouge area will find storm chances ramping up from 3pm onward. Most of the heftier storms will exit to the east by midnight. Any showers and storms today could become strong or severe with heavy rain and damaging wind gusts. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for some Parishes southeast of the Baton Rouge area.
Lingering showers will be possible into the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday. Behind the cold front, winds will become northerly and usher in MUCH cooler temperatures. Lows will bottom out in the upper 40s by tomorrow morning.
METEOROLOGICAL DISCUSSION: A cold front stretches from the upper Mississippi River Valley into Central Texas. This cold front will approach the area from northwest to southeast during the afternoon hours.
A line of showers and storms ongoing ahead of the front will strengthen as it approaches the local area, tapping into some warmer air and Gulf of Mexico moisture. Some holes in the cloud deck out ahead of the front may allow a few peeks of sun today, warming thermometers into the lower 80s and adding instability to the atmosphere. Strong southerly winds from the surface up to the low levels of the atmosphere are in place, promoting a favorable wind profile for severe thunderstorm development. An upper level trough pushing the front east will enhance development while a strong jet stream will further exhilarate the storms. The morning weather balloon launch revealed an atmopshere looking very favorable for many modes of severe thunderstorms. An existing dry pocket of air aloft supports the potential for strong, damaging wind gusts. That same dry intrusion and a moderately low freezing level may allow some hail to reach surface. Any that does, could be large. Impressive speed and directional shear will allow a few storms to rotate, especially those cells that pop ahead of any linear storm segments. Finally, many severe parameters indicate a "juicy" atmosphere for strong storms. Added daytime warmth will further destabilize atmosphere, increasing CAPE.
High resolution models put the stronger showers and storms in the Baton Rouge area around 3pm. The current expectation is for a squall line to trounce through the region. In some locations, the line may stall or begin training with repeated heavier rains.
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