Tornado Watch in effect until 5 p.m.

7 years 7 months 5 days ago Tuesday, February 23 2016 Feb 23, 2016 February 23, 2016 11:16 AM February 23, 2016 in Weather
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The National Weather Service has issued a *TORNADO WATCH* for parts of the WBRZ Weather forecast area until 5pm.

Locations within the TORNADO WATCH area include the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Assumption, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Mary Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana in Louisiana and the Counties of Amite, Pike and Wilkinson in Mississippi.

Showers and thunderstorms are increasing in coverage and intensity across Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. Any of the storms could quickly become severe. Isolated storms will be the issue at first, with storm cells organizing into a squall line during the mid-afternoon hours. Upper level winds are very supportive of rotating thunderstorms making tornadoes and damaging wind gusts the primary threats. Unseasonably warm and muggy air is in place with high temperatures reaching for the low 70s by early afternoon. Southwesterly winds will continue to stiffen through the day—ramping up into the 15-25mph range. Gusts may exceed 30mph even outside of the strongest storms.

Rain will end overnight Tuesday with cooler air filtering into the region as winds turn northwesterly. Lows will end up in the upper 40s.

Additional Bulletins: The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has much of the forecast area a “moderate risk” for severe weather meaning that there is a 45% chance of a severe weather hazard within 25 miles of any point in this risk area. A WIND ADVISORY is posted until 6am Wednesday due to sustained southwest winds of 15-25mph with locally higher gusts possible.

Threats: 1. Damaging Wind | 2. A Few Tornadoes | 3. Large Hail | 4. Downpours | 5. Frequent Lightning

Timing: Isolated storm are developing now bringing the greatest threat for tornadoes into mid-afternoon. As the mode transitions into a squall line around that time, damaging wind gusts will become the concern. Therefore now - 6pm will be the MOST LIKELY period for severe weather. Rain will end from west to east prior to dawn Wednesday.

Actions: Be alert to rapid changes in weather, have access to bulletins through the WBRZ WX app., the WBRZ Cable Weather Channel, WBRZ Weather on Facebook and @WBRZweather on Twitter. With both the weather app. and Twitter, you can change your cellular phone settings to allow push notifications and alerts for updates from the WBRZ Weather team. PLEASE share information with those that do not have access to digital media sources. Share Facebook posts and retweet alerts from our weather team. Make a phone call to those without TV or internet. Any such step could be lifesaving. Secure loose outdoor objects. Move cars under covered areas where possible. Review storm safety plans with friends and family.

Remember: a watch means conditions are favorable for a specific hazard to develop in the future so you should have a readiness plan, a warning means a specific hazard is happening now and you need to take safety precautions immediately. The area is in a “slight” risk for severe weather—this means there is a higher chance than usual for strong thunderstorms.

A TORNADO WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to produce tornadoes, winds of 58 mph or higher and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or larger, in addition to heavy rain and dangerous lightning. Those in and around the watch area should monitor weather information closely for possible warnings.

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