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Dual threat storm system to cross region on Thursday

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, January 02 2020 Jan 2, 2020 January 02, 2020 6:42 AM January 02, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

A complex storm system will move through the region on Thursday with threats for severe weather and heavy rain. Cooler air will follow for a quiet weekend of weather.   

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: A warm front lifted through the area Thursday morning with a batch of rain. This opened the gate for a surge of warmer and more humid air and temperatures will climb into the low 70s this afternoon. These conditions will allow showers and thunderstorms to become more widespread from late morning onward. Any thunderstorms that can develop could turn severe, with a tornado or two possible within the forecast area. Any sunshine would be a bad thing, adding instability and exacerbating this threat.

Late in the afternoon, a squall line is expected to develop over the Atchafalaya Basin. Along this slow moving line, there will be a threat for heavy rain and gusty wind. Through Friday morning, 2-4” of rain could occur north and west of Baton Rouge with slightly lower amounts eastward. While some localized street and poor drainage flooding is possible, widespread issues are not expected. Rivers will rise some but should be able to tolerate the runoff since it has been dry of late. Showers and rumbles of thunder will continue overnight as a cold front pushes through. Temperatures will slip back into the upper 50s.

Reminder: With the threat for impactful weather—severe thunderstorms and heavy rain—please have access to alerts through Thursday evening. You can download or activate the WBRZ WX App on your Apple or Android device or turn on a NOAA Weather Radio for bulletins such as watches and urgent warnings. Of course, WBRZ, WBRZ+ and the Cable Weather Channel will have updates as active weather dictates.  

Up Next: Rain will end from west to east on Friday afternoon though clouds may linger for much of the day. Highs will be in the mid 60s. A tranquil weekend of weather is ahead. Expect both afternoons to bring sunshine with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s. Sunday morning will be the coolest temperatures, with lows in the upper 30s. Some light rain showers could pass the area Monday, but this does not look to be anything significant.  

THE EXPLANATION:

An upper level trough and associated surface frontal system will be moving through the area Thursday and Thursday night. This complex system will bring the threat for severe weather and heavy rain. The first threat to come will be the severe weather threat—primarily during the afternoon hours. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the entire forecast area in a 2/5 slight risk for severe weather. Very high wind shear but limited instability suggests the possibility of an isolated tornado, especially with any storm cells that fire ahead of a squall line this afternoon. If the sun can break through, this threat will increase due to additional warming and instability. The squall line will also tap that high wind shear lending to a possibility for damaging wind gusts in those storms. The second threat to come will be heavy rain along and behind the anticipated squall line late afternoon into the evening. The atmosphere is highly saturated with near record moisture available today. The Weather Prediction Center has highlighted a 2/4 slight risk for excessive rain especially north and west of Baton Rouge.

With a surge of surface moisture from the Gulf and enhanced lift along a slow moving front, 2 to 4 inches will be possible from the Atchafalaya Basin northeastward into southwest Mississippi. Of course, some isolated higher totals could occur. Elsewhere, eastward into the Baton Rouge area, 1 to 3 inches will be possible. Because the area has been dry of late and the ground can absorb a good deal of water, widespread flash and river flooding is not expected. Rain will end from west to east on Friday, although this could take until the early afternoon to occur. Cooler temperatures will spill into the area as the parent upper level trough basins over the region. A surface high pressure system will lead to a clear and quiet weekend with lows bottoming out in the upper 30s on Sunday morning and afternoon highs right around average in the upper 50s and low 60s.       

--Josh

The WBRZ Weather Team is here for you, on every platform. Your weather updates can be found on News 2, wbrz.com, and the WBRZ WX App. on Apple and Android devices. Follow WBRZ Weather on Facebook and Twitter for even more weather updates while you are on the go.

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