Unsettled and occasionally wet this weekend through Mardi Gras - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Unsettled and occasionally wet this weekend through Mardi Gras

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"Unsettled" is the operative word for the weather pattern for Acadiana entering the big Mardi Gras weekend period, with a good chance of rain and storms shaping up especially for Saturday.

Clouds will return to the area through Friday as Wednesday's cool front backs up from the Gulf of Mexico.

Some scattered showers will be possible with this feature especially during the late night hours of Thursday into the early morning hours of Friday with rain chances near 30-40%.

It will be milder Friday afternoon in spite of mostly cloudy skies, but a few intervals of sun may push our temperatures into the lower 70s. Rain chances through Friday evening should be closer to the 20-30% range.

Moving into Saturday, upper level winds, instability aloft, and a series of upper disturbances racing through the sub-tropical jet-stream, will all conspire to produce an 80% chance of scattered showers and some thunderstorms.

Timing of the best chances of rain remains nearly impossible with the options of a few rounds of activity between the morning and evening, to an almost all day rain possible.

What makes the Saturday forecast particularly difficult as that us forecasters and the models are trying to identify the upper level disturbances getting carried in the sub-tropical jet stream, which comes from three data poor regions: the Eastern Pacific, Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico.

To top it off, we know there will be some energy getting carried southward by the polar jet stream situated over the U.S., which could act as an enhancing factor aloft for rainfall, or add just more impossible-to-model chaos. 

So rain-wise we pretty much won't know what we will be up against until we see definitive trends developing on the radar going into Saturday.

So like last weekend, when we had a 70% chance of rain and storms, some activity may miss the area during Mardi Gras parade prime-times, so don't cancel any plans just yet! We should have a better feel for timing of the best rain chances this weekend, tomorrow, Friday.

Moving into Sunday, there will still be a good chance of showers and some thunderstorms (at least 60%) until a cool front arrives during the midday/early afternoon hours. 

Computer forecast rain accumulation products have been varying so wildly, so for now, it's most prudent to follow the Weather Prediction Center's (WPC) guidance of rain totals for Acadiana this weekend most likely to be in the 1.5-2" range, which means there could be isolated areas that may see more, especially the farther to the north and east you go in Acadiana, and Louisiana. 

Flooding is not anticipated nor any severe weather but with that being said, a few strong storms with gusty winds may be possible at any time this weekend, along with some heavier rains, especially to our north, that could allow for some localized street flooding, especially toward Central Louisiana and north and eastward.

It should be noted that the majority of the computer model guidance as of late Thursday afternoon, showed mostly less rainfall through Sunday evening than the WPC forecast.

Thereafter, the forecast doesn't get any easier heading into Lundi and Mardi Gras as while cooler temperatures are briefly expected behind Sunday's front into Monday, the front will again back up northward into the region Tuesday. Thus, the chance of a few showers at 30% for Monday, and up to 50% now, for Mardi Gras.

So Acadiana unfortunately will be in between wavering fronts and mired in the whims of the sub-tropical jet-stream well into next week, making for this unsettled and very unchangeable pattern.

We do know, that milder temperatures overall will populate much of the next 10 days locally, with the exception of Monday, look for highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s Friday through Sunday, possibly warming into the low-mid 70s for much of next week, including Mardi Gras.

And believe it or not, Acadiana may have a chance at 80 degrees by next Thursday...one look at the 10 Day Forecast, will tell you that "spring" is not that far away!

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