Have a plan, storms to threaten while many are asleep
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to begin tonight. The greatest threat for severe weather will be overnight, shortly after storms begin. Damaging wind, large hail and isolated tornadoes are all possible—especially in areas north and west of Baton Rouge. These overnight threats make it really important to have a way to get warnings while you are asleep in case you need to take action. While a chance of severe weather will remain into the morning hours of Thursday, there are several factors that should limit action as the day progresses.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an “enhanced risk” for severe weather tonight into tomorrow morning for parishes and counties north and west of Baton Rouge and a “slight risk” eastward toward I-55. The entire WBRZ Weather forecast area is under a “slight risk” on Thursday. An enhanced risk means numerous severe storms are possible with some persistent and intense. A “slight risk" means scattered severe storms are possible with an isolated intense thunderstorm. If you want to rank the risks on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) enhanced is 3 and slight is a 2. Another way of describing the risk is that areas in enhanced have a 30 percent chance and areas in slight have a 15 percent chance of severe weather occurring within 25 miles.
1) Gusty Wind – possibly in excess of 58mph
2) Large Hail – could exceed 1” in diameter in the strongest storms
3) Other – heavy rain, isolated tornado can’t be ruled out
Precipitation: The NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) is forecasting 1-3” of rain for the 13 Parish, 3 County Forecast Area through Thursday. Most locations should receive the lower amounts, but particularly heavy thunderstorms will tip gauges toward the higher amounts in a few locations.
Estimated Timeline: Showers and thunderstorms will enter parishes and counties west of the Mississippi River soon after 12am Thursday. Pulses of activity will continue through 11am with the potential for severe weather ending by midday Thursday. Regardless of severe weather, rain, storms and possibly some delays can be expected for the morning drive.
Impacts: Large hail can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Strong wind is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Driving in hail can cause your windshield to shatter creating a high risk for injury. Being outdoors or near windows during high winds can leave you vulnerable to be struck by flying debris. Mobile homes are not safe structures in a tornado and can be blown easily.
Actions: Move valuables under a sturdy shelter. Tie down loose objects. Have access to watches and warnings such as with a NOAA Weather Radio or from the WBRZ Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the *free* WBRZ WX App. sends push notifications to Apple and Android devices if a watch or warning is issued for your location. Remember, a watch means “conditions are favorable, and a particular threat could develop” and a warning means that “threat is happening and you should take action immediately.” For much more detailed severe weather safety, CLICK HERE. If there is a weather warning active during your morning drive, consider waiting until that storm passes. If you live in a mobile home, be sure you have quick access to a sturdy building while the threat is ongoing.