All week we've been discussing the potential for severe weather moving across the region late Friday, and confidence is high that we will see a squall line moving through that will produce some very gusty winds, and possibly some tornadoes.
The Storm Prediction Center has continued to strengthen their language for the Arklatex region, increasing the zone to a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather, this is where the predominate tornado threat will be late Friday night.
Damaging winds, up to 60-70 mph, will be the predominate threat with this system for Acadiana, that doesn't rule out the possibility of an isolated tornado along the leading edge of the squall line.
Flooding is not expected to be a major issue, although when the front moves through it will be capable of producing some very heavy, intense rainfall but since it's moving so quickly it won't give it much chance to accumulate.
The timing of this front has stayed pretty consistent all week long with the front inching into Louisiana around 2:00 a.m. swinging through Lafayette close to sunrise, and then clearing Acadiana entirely by the mid morning.
This means that late night weekend warriors may want to wrap things up a little early Friday night and try and make it home by midnight, and the early risers will want to stay put until the storm has cleared.
Saturday evening will be chilly and breezy but ultimately quiet so Saturday evening plans should all remain intact.
Keep in mind that weather never arrives at a specific time instead we talk ranges so don't get caught up with a particular hour, instead think about the range of time and plan accordingly.
There will be a few things to look for through the day on Friday and in the evening that will give you an idea of how the night will play out, the two easy things to watch will be the cloud cover through the day and dewpoints through the evening.
If the clouds start to break and we get a round of sunshine in the afternoon or evening, it will increase the potential for supercell development ahead of the squall line, this would mean a bump in both hail and tornado chances.
Thankfully the models haven't picked up on much supercell development, but it happens on such a small scale that sometimes it can be hard for the computer to see so monitor the sky and the radar Friday afternoon.
Dewpoints measure moisture in the atmosphere and can be an easy indication at the kind of fuel that's available for these storms to feed on, the higher the dewpoint the stronger the storms. This time of year dewpoints sitting around 70 is typically a good indicator of severe weather (this does not apply in the summer when the dewpoint is always at 70).
A quick reminder that if you find yourself under a tornado warning the place to go is an interior room, away from windows and exterior walls, until the danger has passed.
Make sure you have a way to cover your head and that you do so in proper shoes if you have the time in the event you walk out and into a debris field.
None of this is to say that it will definitely happen, but if it does you want to have a plan and be prepared to move quickly if needed.
Make sure to check in through the day as we monitor the weather situation and tweak little parts of the forecast, of course you can find all updates at KATC on-air and online.