Severe weather expected to impact local area Tuesday

Jeff Morrow gives the 10 p.m. weather forecast on Sunday, March 20.
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 10:24 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The local area continues to brace for a potential severe weather outbreak Tuesday. Monday will be the proverbial “calm before the storm”. Clouds and winds will be on the increase through the day. Expect afternoon highs to reach 80° with wind gusts of 20-25 mph possible by afternoon. Monday stays dry as we await the arrival of our next storm system and cold front.

Severe weather threat
Severe weather threat(WAFB)

The storm system arrives Tuesday afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a large portion of the local area under a Moderate Risk (4 out of 5). A Moderate Risk means widespread severe weather is likely with a potential for strong long track tornadoes, destructive hail, and widespread wind damage. The exact timing of impacts and what the main severe weather threats will be remains unclear at this time. But it does appear as through sct’d to numerous strong to severe t-storms will be possible Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening. The biggest question mark appears to be whether the storm threat will come in the form of a line of t-storms, singular discrete cells, or a combination of both. There will be pros and cons to each.

LINE OF T-STORMS SCENARIO: Often referred to as a squall line or linear complex system. Widespread severe weather impacts would be possible in this particular instance because of wind threat. Damaging wind is the primary threat as segments of the line “bow” out similar to how a bow for a bow and arrow looks. Embedded tornadoes are possible, but usually are brief and weaker in nature than in the other scenarios. Hail remains possible in this instance but likely stays 1″ or less. Rain amounts would likely be manageable as the line of storms would move through quickly enough to limit significant amounts of rain.

INDIVIDUALIZED DISCRETE STORMS SCENARIO: Singular rotating storms (often referred to as supercells) pose the highest risk for tornado potential and significant tornado potential in this particular instance. We would be more likely to see EF 2+ tornadoes within this scenario. All other modes of severe weather would also be possible. The hail threat in this scenario would be greater with hail easily 1″ or larger. These storms often produce the highest rainfall totals in short amounts of time leading to heightened flash flood potential.

COMBINATION SCENARIO: A worst case scenario. All modes of severe weather will be on the table. All modes of severe weather will have the potential of being significant. Would cause the most widespread damage. Flash flood potential would also be heightened in this scenario as local areas could see multiple rounds of heavy rain.

Unfortunately, we can’t say with much confidence which scenario will be in place for Tuesday. We should have a better idea by Monday.

There are things you can do to prepare. Make sure to park your vehicle under cover if possible to prevent hail damage. Check your yard for loose items and make sure to secure them. Know your safe space in the event that a tornado warning is issued for your location. Make sure you know that location at home and work and share it with the rest of your family. If you live in a mobile home, you need to consider finding a better location to ride out Tuesday’s weather. A mobile home is never a safe space.

Futurecast
Futurecast(WAFB)

The flood potential will be largely determined by the type of event. The Weather Prediction Center has a majority of the area under a Slight Risk (2 out of 4) for flash flooding. This means we could see some localized flash flooding of residential and business property in addition to nuisance type flooding of low lying poorly drained areas.

Excessive rainfall risk
Excessive rainfall risk(WAFB)

A cold front will help finally push out the showers and t-storms by late Tuesday night. Once the cold front passes the severe weather threat will end. Temperatures will see a slight dip, but we will remain comfortable to close out the week. The weather will remain dry into and through next weekend as high pressure builds.

10 day forecast
10 day forecast(WAFB)

Right now even the tail end of the 10-day forecast remains dry which might be needed after what we see Tuesday.

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