Typical summertime rain chances to last through the remainder of the work week before our attention turns to the tropics into the weekend.
Active radar across Acadiana this Wednesday afternoon as a weak upper-level feature coupled with daytime heating helped to spark off numerous showers and storms this afternoon across the region. Rain chances to continue into Wednesday evening before the activity begins to taper off overnight.
Low temperatures will drop into the lower 70s Wednesday night into Thursday morning with winds turning calm.
We'll see slightly lower rain chances Thursday into Friday. Rain chances will be at 30% for those isolated afternoon downpours. High temperatures will sit at around the 90 degree mark for both days to round out the work week.
The latter part of the weekend is when Tropical Storm Cristobal will likely start to make its impact on Acadiana's weather. Saturday is looking to stay relatively dry as the storm sits in the central Gulf of Mexico.
Rain chances will start to increase Sunday and especially Sunday night into Monday as the storm starts to trek toward the Louisiana coast. With the storm still a few days out, the specifics on impacts are still a little fuzzy. We'll learn more in the next 36-48 hours as the storm emerges from the Mexican coast and enters back into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. For now, expect our rain chances to remain on the higher side Sunday through the day on Monday with the threat for localized heavy rainfall as well as gusty winds. Be sure to check Rob's full tropical discussion on Cristobal below.
In the tropics: It will be a couple of days before we know what kind of system emerges in the Southern Gulf but the most likely scenario at this time would be for a large, disorganized area of low pressure, that will fight dry air to the west and intensity-limiting shear as it approaches the Northern Gulf Coast.
Large circulations usually have a hard time intensifying in this scenario, but a delivery of heavy, potentially flooding rains will be on the way for the Gulf States especially along and east, and perhaps well east of where the center makes landfall.
Still too early for many specifics for Acadiana, but I think the flood threat, and the possibility of 5-15" or more will be more toward Eastern LA to FL and then inland over the SE U.S.
Yes it will be breezy here locally, but given anticipated storm structure you won't see 50-60 mph winds (and perhaps a few tornadoes) unless they are rooted in tropical rain squalls, which would be most favored in the eastern (and perhaps the northern) semicircle of the storm.
Even if we just see rains in the 3-6" range here in Acadiana, the threat of flooding may occur as these kind of rainfalls may come just in a couple of hours. But again, it's way too early for any specific rainfall forecasts...we do know this system should be moving along so a prolonged flood event is currently not anticipated.
Remember too, that although the cone envelopes our entire region, roughly 30% of the time the actual center falls outside of the cone. The cone represents the actual forecast error average over the last 5 years.
In the meantime, the threat of deadly flooding will continue for portions of Mexico and Central America over the next couple of days. Also keep in mind that models tend to struggle with systems that are inland and lose their defined structure for a bit. This is what's currently happening with Cristobal as it meanders around Central America. We'll have more confidence in the track and intensity forecast as the storm re-enters the Gulf of Mexico and gets a better structure to it for the models to get a hold of.
Whatever impacts we see here in Acadiana will most likely occur the latter part of Sunday into Monday, but if this system gets hung up over land longer than the currently anticipated timing, intensity, impacts and flooding rainfall location projections will change...
It should be also be noted that a hurricane is still not off of the table yet.