Severe Weather Threat Intensifies This Afternoon in Lafayette
Probably the first thing that most of us will notice as we make our way out of our homes and into our workday this morning is the humidity. The air is very thick with moisture. While that's not uncommon for a part of the world that has a major body of water less than 50 miles away it does raise cause for concern, especially with a strong cold front approaching.
The conditions across the area have prompted the Storm Prediction Center to place almost all of Louisiana under some threat for severe weather and strong storms today. As you can see from the graphic below. The greatest threat for severe storms will likely stay to the north and east of Acadiana. However, the I-10 corridor is certainly not out of the woods.
Cities along I-10, namely Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans are considered to be by the SPC at a slight risk of severe storms today. Meanwhile, the rest of the state, namely the extreme northwestern corner and the extreme southeastern corner will be under a marginal threat for severe weather between mid-morning today and later this evening.
Now, if you're unclear what "enhanced", "slight", and "marginal' risks are for severe storms. This graphic from the Storm Prediction Center should help clear that up.
Okay, I think we are all in agreement that we will probably see some rain, feel some wind, maybe hear a clap or two of thunder between now and midnight. Let's see if we can dial down that forecast for how you're living your day today.
The morning hours appear to be fairly quiet for most of South Louisiana. The rain threat won't really start rolling into the western sections of the state until later this morning. KATC's Chief Meteorologist Rob Perillo has run the GRAF Model for us and based on that model's interpretation the heaviest of the showers and storms should start to threaten western parishes of Acadiana around 4 pm tonight.
Based on the forecast speed of the system the GRAF Model shows the majority of strong storms exiting Acadiana by 9 pm this evening. Behind the system, we should notice cooler temperatures and lower humidity. From what we understand, the cleansing properties of the rain should also knock some of the pollen out of the air too.
But wait, that's only one model solution and not an official forecast. Let's take a look at another forecast model that Rob and the Storm Team Three crew use in the weather lab. This is the HRR Model guidance.
If you check the time stamp on the HRR graphic versus the time stamp on the GRAF graphic you can see the HRR guidance brings the storms into the area about two hours sooner. So we aren't in exact agreement on when the worst of the weather will arrive in Acadiana but we'll try to lay it out for you so you can plan your day.
I think the morning hours will be quiet. About Noon or so, showers and storms should start to pop up out in front of the approaching storm system, so we could see a passing shower or thunderstorm between lunchtime and carpool time.
The further west you are the sooner you will likely see the heavier storms today. As far as the Lafayette area is concerned I would say the window of time between 3 pm and 9 pm would be our most likely time to experience strong storms.
There could be severe weather watches and warnings posted for the area ahead of this storm system. To make sure you've got the latest information in the palm of your hand we suggest you download our station app and make sure that you have turned on "Alerts" in the settings.
The good news is that after this system passes, we should have wonderful weather through the balance of the workweek and into the Mother's Day holiday weekend. Speaking of Mom, we have figured out some things that she wants this year and some things she doesn't. Here is a look at what you shouldn't be looking at for her.