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Severe weather likely saturday morning
Today and Tonight: Some areas of patchy fog will be possible this morning until about 9 AM, but skies are set to stay cloudy through the day and into the beginning part of the weekend. This is all associated with a strong approaching cold front that is keeping conditions warm and humid today. Spotty showers will be possible through the day, but will be ramping up around 5 PM. Rain chances will continue to increase tonight through Saturday morning. Highs today will peak near 78° with southerly winds around 10 mph. Winds should steadily increase through the night between 10-20 mph out of the south. Lows will only drop to 64° into Saturday morning.
Up Next: Severe thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes exist Saturday morning, but conditions should improve through Saturday into Sunday. This will not last long, as showers return from the Gulf on Monday and set to linger through much of the week.
A deep shortwave trough will move into the High Plains and northern Mexico today and help to develop a surface low in the Arklatex region this evening while a steady increase in surface and low level southerly winds occur. There is a chance for showers and storms today, mainly east of the I-55 corridor and south of Lake Pontchartrain. Spotty showers will be possible more west of I-55, especially after 5 PM. Strong forcing along and just ahead of the cold front is expected to cause a squall line of thunderstorms to move across much of Louisiana and western Mississippi tonight and into Saturday morning. Today, we are in the slight risk of severe weather through tonight, then the Enhanced Risk of severe thunderstorms is forecast across the entire area on Saturday as the cold front pushes into and through the region. The combination of a moderately unstable airmass and very strong shear, resulting from unusually strong low level winds, will co-exist during a window from the pre-dawn hours through much of the morning. The addition of strong forcing will bring the likelihood of severe thunderstorms along a squall line and possibly forming discreet cells ahead of the line with all modes of severe weather possible including the possibility of strong tornadoes of EF2 or greater strength and straight-line damaging wind gusts exceeding 75 mph. Drier and cooler weather will return late Saturday through Sunday in the wake of the cold front. The frontal system is expected to linger just off the coast in the north Gulf Sunday, then return as a warm front Sunday night. The warm front will continue to lift north Monday into Tuesday as a deeper layer high pressure area over the Atlantic coast area sets up. Temperatures should warm to above average values through mid-week before the next cold front arrives about Thursday.
--Meteorologist Matt Callihan
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