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Stay weather aware, stormy Thursday ahead

6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, April 04 2019 Apr 4, 2019 April 04, 2019 6:18 AM April 04, 2019 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

UPDATE: As of 11:27am Thursday, 2-4" of rain had fallen across much of the WBRZ Weather Forecast area. An additional 2-3" is possible through this evening and the National Weather Service has issued a FLOOD WATCH as a result. Please remember not to drive through flood water, even if the street is familiar to you. Part of the road may have washed away. Furthermore, you risk stalling out and becoming stranded. Strong storms remain possible through the afternoon and the main threat will be gusty wind. However, hail and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. See the bottom of this blog for the latest information coming from @WBRZWeather on Twitter.

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WATCH: Dr. Josh has the latest update on the weather moving through the area.

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Heavy rain and strong storms will be possible through Thursday. This is just be the beginning of an active pattern.

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: Thursday will be unsettled with some ingredients available to support heavy rain and strong thunderstorms. The window for severe weather will be from late morning through late afternoon and the atmosphere will be supportive of gusty wind, hail and an isolated tornado—especially north of I-10. A longer duration of rain, heavy at times, will result in 1-3” across the area, with some isolated higher amounts possible. While it has been dry lately, runoff may not be an issue for rivers, but as you know, a lot at once could lead to street and poor drainage flooding. Rain will keep thermometers in the low 70s. Activity should ease up after midnight.

Up Next:  The pattern will stall, keeping scattered showers and thunderstorms around on Friday. Saturday looks like the least rain coverage but some isolated activity will still develop. A strong system will plow through the area Sunday with another threat of severe storms and heavy rain. Once that system clears on Monday, a run of quiet, warm weather will follow. Noting average highs and lows of 77 and 54 respectively, expect above average temperatures through the middle of next week.

With spring beginning, we get the unfriendly, sneezing reminder that pollen season is upon us. You can get an updated allergy report each weekday morning on 2une In and every day from the WBRZ Weather Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Mississippi River: At Baton Rouge, major flood stage continues with a level of 42.6’ as of Thursday morning. Peaking at 44.1’ on March 19, the river set its 7th highest recorded crest at Baton Rouge. In addition, at 89 days this is now the 4th longest period above flood stage. Due to river flooding and drainage north of the area, runoff will keep the river high for many days to come. The high water is primarily an issue for river traffic and river islands, although some inundation will continue unprotected low-lying areas. The grounds of the older part of Louisiana State University's campus become soggy. This includes the area around the Veterinary Medicine building, the Veterinary Medicine Annex, the stadium and ball fields. The city of Baton Rouge and the main LSU campus are protected by levees up to 47 feet. Some seepage may be noted due to the long duration of high water placing pressure on the levees. Water from the extensive Missouri River flooding across the Upper Midwest will not reach Baton Rouge until April and the Mississippi River is expected to have fallen some by that time. As some of the Mississippi River diverts into the Atchafalaya River, gauges at Krotz Springs and Morgan City will stay high as well. Like Big Muddy, this is expected to be a prolonged event but is not uncommon for the time of year. Read more HERE

THE EXPLANATION:

A shortwave trough and associated surface low will be moving across the Midwest into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. A warm front will lift north through the forecast area through the day. The warm front and accompanying upper level energy will be enough to set off widespread rain and thunderstorms. Through midday, the surface airmass will remain cooler than that aloft and this should keep the threat for severe weather lower and confined to hail and heavy rain. Downpours could result in street and poor drainage flooding throughout the day with many locations picking up 1-3 inches, though a locally higher amount is possible. These amounts would be manageable for area rivers since it has been dry lately, but just like with summer storms, a large amount in a short time can lead to localized flooding. The second half of the day is a trickier forecast. Some models suggest that the trailing cold front will spark a squall line that races across the Mid-South. It is possible this reaches areas north of Baton Rouge near dusk. By this time, the surface air should warm enough to allow a connection into the upper levels that gusty wind and possibly a tornado can come into the mix as threats as well. The passage of the trough overnight will diminish the severe weather potential and rain coverage, but some showers and thunderstorms will persist into Friday due a continued warm, moist and unstable airmass that will be in place. Saturday may bring a relative lull in the action as the next potent storm system develops out west. Enough instability should be available for a storm or two to develop but expecting it to stay isolated in the absence of any significant lifting mechanism like a front.

That next storm system will move into the area on Sunday and has a greater potential to produce severe weather than the one on Thursday. We will focus on the specifics after today. Once the next cold front passes Monday, temperatures will simply ease back to seasonal averages in the upper 70s and mid 50s. Plenty of 80s appear to be in store for the latter half of the 7-Day forecast and beyond.

--Josh

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