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GOHSEP: Stay aware of potentially dangerous weather conditions in Louisiana

Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-01 20:44:45-04

BATON ROUGE – (PRESS RELEASE) The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team as the state monitors two potentially dangerous weather situations impacting Louisiana over the next several days.  The team will manage any requests for support from local emergency managers related to this weather situation.  Heavy rains are in the forecast because of the current conditions. Forecasters say 2-3 inches of rain per hour could fall in some regions of the state. The threat may increase if a tropical system develops in the Gulf of Mexico beginning Monday or Tuesday.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has given the system a medium chance of strengthening once it crosses Florida and enters the gulf.

Here are the current outlooks from the four (4) National Weather Service (NWS) offices that cover Louisiana.

NWS New Orleans:

Today and tonight:

Showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall are expected. The heavier and more persistent rainfall could lead to ponding and some flooding of streets and low lying, poorly drained areas. Stronger thunderstorms will also be capable of producing frequent lightning strikes and gusty winds 30 to 35 mph.

A coastal flood advisory is in effect today through Sunday for areas along the coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Bay St. Louis, and along the lakeshore areas of Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas. Minor inundation is possible across low lying areas outside levees during high tide.

Sunday through Friday:

Scattered to numerous thunderstorms are expected during the entire period. The main impact will be the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding, but the degree of impact in still in question. Tide levels may continue to rise well above normal along the coast and tidal lakes shorelines, so the coastal flood threat may also increase for areas outside of the levees. Gusty winds and cloud to ground lightning will also occur with some thunderstorms each day.

NWS Lake Charles:

A tropical wave currently near the southern Bahamas will move west-northwest and cross Florida Sunday and reach the eastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday. All interests should stay abreast as we monitor this system through the holiday weekend.

Due to the increase in tropical moisture, we are forecasting 2-3 inches of rain across east Texas and central Louisiana to 4-5 inches along the I-10 corridor south to the coast of southeast Texas and southwest and south central Louisiana. Locally up to 10 inches will be possible. Wherever the heaviest rains fall will be the highest risk for flooding as well. Be prepared for flash flood warnings over the next week and take safety precautions of it is for your area.

NWS Shreveport:

Today and tonight:

Showers and thunderstorms will remain mostly isolated this afternoon and early evening, with possible scattered coverage around the East Texas Lakes and east of the Toledo Bend Area.

A few stronger storms will have the capability of producing deadly cloud to ground lighting, strong wind gusts and brief heavy downpours. Any thunderstorm activity this afternoon should dissipate rather quickly later this evening. Although afternoon high temperatures will only reach the lower to middle 90s under considerable cloud cover, increased humidity will result in afternoon heat indices around 100 to possibly near 105 at times.

Sunday through Friday:

Sunday into Monday, look for showers and thunderstorms to become more scattered to numerous across the entire Four State Region. The best coverage will be across northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas on Sunday and better coverage across northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma on Monday. Some of these storms could be strong in intensity producing strong wind gusts, frequent cloud to ground lightning and brief heavy downpours. Storm coverage should drop off a bit through the remainder of the work week but that could change, depending on a tropical wave which could begin influencing portions of the Four State Region by late in the work week.

NWS Jackson (MS):

Tonight and Sunday:

The probability for widespread hazardous weather is low.

Sunday night through Friday:

The probability for widespread hazardous weather is low.

In addition to the current threats, the NWS is also monitoring Tropical Storm Florence well out in the Atlantic.

NWS- Tropical Storm Florence has formed far out in the Atlantic. This system has a chance to become a hurricane over the next 5 days. While it is forecast to remain in the Atlantic over this next week, we will need to monitor it beyond that to see if it becomes a threat to the Gulf of Mexico.

Today marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month.  GOHSEP encourages everyone to check on valuable preparedness information from your local emergency managers.  Other resources are available from GOHSEP and our federal partners.

ONLINE RESOURCES: Louisiana residents can take simple steps to protect themselves, their families, their pets and their homes. GOHSEP provides detailed tips and information on how to respond in the event of a tornado, flooding, thunderstorm, hurricane or other severe weather. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides detailed, zip code level weather information for the public on its Website. Users can get information about severe weather warnings and alerts and also view forecasts from National Weather Service staff. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) outlines what to do in many disaster scenarios on its preparedness site.