BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - What a mess! A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the WAFB area through Tuesday evening, with more rain on the way Tuesday and Wednesday.
Morning to midday rains of 3″ to 6″ and more extended from metro Baton Rouge through Ascension Parish and into St. James Parish, prompting a number of National Weather Service (NWs) warnings and advisories. Most of that rain fell in two to three hours, with the biggest slug falling in under 60 minutes for many of the flooded areas. While these kinds of rains may not be considered rare, they’re certainly out of the norm. Historical statistics suggest these kinds of rain totals might be expected only once every 10 to 25 years or so, on average. However, it seems like they are occurring a bit more frequently in recent years.
In addition, as the region continues to grow and develop, rapid runoff from these kinds of rains is becoming increasingly troublesome, as noted by the ever-increasing number of residents seeing inundation in places that (apparently) had never flooded before.
Just about all of the rains ended late Monday afternoon and most of the WAFB area will remain dry overnight and into the early morning Wednesday. After a mostly dry start to the day, showers and t-storms return Tuesday afternoon. Set rain chances at 70% Tuesday, with scattered, mainly afternoon showers and storms also in the forecast Wednesday. While the outlook does not call for more of the big downpours like we saw Monday, some areas north of the I-10/12 corridor could see an additional 1″ to possibly 2″ of rain over the next two days. Areas south of the east-west interstate corridor will likely get less than 1″ through Wednesday evening.
The clouds and the rains should keep daytime highs in the 80s Tuesday and Wednesday.
Although not completely rain-free, the forecast for Thursday, Friday, and the weekend is much drier, with rain chances set at just 20% to 30% all four days. That does not mean a couple of neighborhoods couldn’t get a heavy downpour with a slow-moving afternoon thunderstorm during the four-day spell, but widespread big rains should not be an issue. Highs will be in the low 90s Thursday and Friday and could sneak up into the mid 90s for the weekend.
There’s a little more good news if you’re looking for a run of drier days. The First Alert forecast keeps rain chances on the low side through most of next week too.
The tropics have suddenly become an area of focus. Tropical Storm Edouard formed in the North Atlantic Sunday and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is also keeping tabs on an area of low pressure expected to move out of the southeastern U.S. and over the warm waters off the Atlantic Seaboard in the next few days.
Edouard was downgraded to a post-tropical low Monday afternoon and is headed away from the U.S. towards the ever-cooler North Atlantic. While never being a landfall threat, Edouard serves as another reminder that virtually every tropical forecast group is anticipating a very busy hurricane season for 2020. Edouard makes the record books as being the earliest forming fifth named storm on record for the Atlantic Basin.
As for that area closer to home, the NHC is currently giving it a 40% chance of tropical development over the next five days. Regardless of whether it does develop or not, it will not be a threat for Louisiana. However, interests along the U.S. east coast need to keep tabs on this potential low. Were it to become a tropical storm, its name would be Fay.
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