Strong storms usher in biting cold for Christmas Eve, Day
After a line of rain and thunderstorms punches through tonight, windy and cold conditions will take over. A freeze is possible on both Friday and Saturday mornings.
8:48pm Wednesday Update: The National Weather Service has issued a TORNADO WATCH for the entire WBRZ Weather Forecast Area until 2am Thursday. CLICK HERE for more details.
The Next 24 Hours: A line of rain and thunderstorms will cross the area between 9pm and 3am tonight. There is a 2/5 “slight risk” for severe weather as any storms could produce gusty wind, downpours and even a tornado. Have a way to receive alerts overnight such as the WBRZ WX App.
About 0.75 – 1.25 inches of rain is expected. Immediately following the line, winds will strengthen and shift northwest turning temperatures sharply colder. Thermometers will slip into the low 40s and upper 30s. Christmas Eve will be all about wind and cold. Despite sunshine, temperatures will remain in the 40s for most of the day. Northwest winds of 10-20mph will cause feels-like temperatures in the 20s and 30s. A *wind advisory* has been issued for parishes south of I-10.
After That: Overnight into Christmas, expect freezing temperatures as far south as I-10 and even some upper 20s north of I-12. The holiday itself will be sunny and cold with highs near 50. Another freeze could occur on Saturday morning before temperatures begin moderating with highs in the upper 50s on Saturday and then 60s on Sunday. The weekend looks like it will stay dry. The next strong storm system is pegged for the middle of next week. CLICK HERE to view your complete 7-Day Forecast.
The Explanation: A deep upper level trough will move into the area into Thursday morning causing some active weather and extensive changes. Favorable upper level winds will meet moisture coming onshore from the Gulf of Mexico to produce a squall line of rain and thunderstorms. The activity is primarily expected a few hours either side of midnight and should be east of the area by daybreak. There is a conditional threat for some of the storms to become severe. While winds in the atmosphere are supportive of strong thunderstorms, there may not be enough instability for any stronger storms to connect with the surface. If there is a little bit more destabilization than expected, a few severe thunderstorms will occur. The main threat is for damaging wind gusts along the squall line. Secondarily, an isolated tornado could happen with any rogue cell ahead of the line. As soon as the front passes, winds will increase and turn to the northwest at 10-20mph. This will result in temperatures falling from a midnight high in the 60s into the 40s or even 30s through Thursday. The combination of stiff winds and falling temperatures will cause winds chills in the 30s for the bulk of Christmas Eve. Temperatures will continue to drop reaching the daily low just prior to midnight and then end up below freezing on Christmas morning. Holiday highs will struggle for 50 despite sunshine. A surface high pressure system will transit the area on Saturday to allow another freezing morning to warm into the upper 50s beneath sunny skies. Temperatures will moderate Sunday into the middle of next week. Forecast models then disagree on the timing of the next big storm system that could also bring severe weather and much colder temperatures, but there is plenty of time to hammer that out.
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