BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Strong to severe storms will be possible this afternoon and perhaps into the early evening as a cold front moves in from the northwest.
A Tornado Watch has been issued for East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Tangipahoa, and West Baton Rouge parishes until 10 p.m.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) maintains a level 3/5 (enhanced) risk of severe weather from Baton Rouge to Hammond northward, with a level 2/5 (slight) risk from Lafayette to just south of Baton Rouge to New Orleans, and a level 1/5 (marginal) risk in our coastal parishes.
Damaging winds are the greatest concern in any stronger storms, but large hail, and isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out. The severe weather threat looks as though it will peak during the mid to late afternoon hours for much of our area, although it could start a bit earlier for areas north of the Capital City.
Looking at probabilities of specific severe weather types focused on the Baton Rouge area, the SPC places approximately a 30% chance of damaging winds within 25 miles of the Capital City, a 15% chance of large hail, and a 5% chance of a tornado. So, a key takeaway is that chances are still better that a given neighborhood won’t see severe weather, but those probabilities are much higher than we see on most days during the course of a year.
Locally heavy rainfall could also be an issue and the National Weather Service posted a Flash Flood Watch for much of our area that will run through 1 a.m. Wednesday. Although guidance is suggesting much of our area will pick up less than 2 inches of rainfall, which would be manageable, there is some potential the cold front will slow its forward progress as it moves through the region.
If that were to happen, rainfall could overachieve what much of our model guidance is showing. NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has a level 2/4 (slight) risk of flooding posted for much of our area, with a level 1/4 (marginal) risk closer to the coast.
The majority of us should be dry by Wednesday afternoon, leaving us with some nice weather for Cinco de Mayo celebrations into the evening. Wednesday’s highs will top out near 80°, with evening temps falling through the 70s.
A run of nice weather then settles in from Thursday through at least Saturday, with dry conditions and temperatures near to slightly below normal. Increasing humidity will lead to a return of small rain chances from Sunday into early next week.
Click here to report a typo.