Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Thursday PM Forecast: strong thunderstorms possible into Friday morning

2 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, March 17 2022 Mar 17, 2022 March 17, 2022 8:09 PM March 17, 2022 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

With an overnight risk for severe thunderstorms, be sure you have a way to receive alerts such as the WBRZ WX App or a NOAA Weather Radio. Know that we will likely face several threats for severe weather in the coming weeks, given the time of year, but we should give respect to each event.  

NEW: Just after 8pm on Thursday, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center upgraded much of the WBRZ Weather Forecast Area to a 3/5 "enhanced risk" for severe weather. This is due to increasing confidence in the potential for storms to produce tornadoes in those areas.

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Next 24 Hours: There will be a level 3/5 “enhanced risk” for severe weather for most of the Baton Rouge Area tonight into tomorrow morning. Thunderstorms will be capable of producing, in rank order, tornadoes, hail and gusty winds. Individual storm cells may start to form shortly after midnight before turning into a few clusters or broken squall line of thunderstorms by daybreak. The most favorable time for severe thunderstorms will be between 2am – 8am. Storm downpours could leave behind an inch or so of rain in some spots and so nuisance ponding of water is possible. Daybreak temperatures will be in the low 60s. Activity will exit before noon. Skies will clear on Friday afternoon with highs in the mid 70s.

Up Next: As winds turn northwesterly behind the frontal system, lows will slip into the 40s Saturday morning. Quiet and cool weather is in store for the 35th Wearin’ of the Green Parade in Baton Rouge. Beneath mostly sunny skies, highs will top out in the low 70s Saturday afternoon. Sunday and Monday, highs will return to the 70s. Another strong storm system will move across the Southeast U.S. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thunderstorms are back in the forecast Tuesday and we will need to monitor the setup for severe weather. Additionally, a slightly slower moving nature of this system could also lead to a possibility for heavy rain into Wednesday. CLICK HERE for your detailed 7-Day Forecast.

The Explanation: A strong upper level trough of low pressure will push into the region tonight. A cold front will form over Texas while a warm front develops over the northern Gulf of Mexico. Looking at the ingredients for strong thunderstorms, the overall setup favors a 3/5 “enhanced risk” for severe weather. At the surface, warmth and moisture will combine to create surface instability early Friday morning. In the low levels of the atmosphere, southwest winds will be strong enough to create modest wind shear. While a little less than ideal over the local area, in the upper levels of the atmosphere, strong winds will allow divergence, which promotes thunderstorm development and maintenance. The greatest overlap of wind shear and instability and therefore threat for tornadoes will come between 2am – 8am south of the Louisiana/Mississippi state line. North of that, some stable air near the surface may limit the threat for tornadoes but gusty wind and hail will be possible in the stronger storms. Overall, activity should quickly wrap up after 9am Friday. Much drier air will move into the region after this, rapidly ending precipitation and clearing skies through the remainder of the day. Another fast moving upper level disturbance will jet through on Saturday but with the cold front well offshore and much drier air in the atmosphere, mainly clear skies will continue. An upper level ridge will briefly build over the area on Sunday leading to more sunshine and warmer temperatures. This ridge will quickly migrate east of the area on Monday and onshore flow will return moisture to the area Monday night. Another upper level trough of low pressure will enter the region on Tuesday. This system will be slower moving with deeper moisture and strong winds aloft in place, the setup may become favorable for gusty thunderstorms and downpours.


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