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Enhanced severe storm threat Friday night/early Saturday

Posted: 5:54 PM, Jan 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-09 23:42:33-05
Rob's weather forecast part 1 01-09-20 10pm
Rob's weather forecast part 2 01-09-20 10pm

Per the Storm Prediction Center, all of Acadiana will be under the gun for an "enhanced" threat, a level 3 out of 5, of severe storms primarily late Friday night into early Saturday morning, all associated with a strong cold front and robust jet stream dynamics.

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In between, expect breezy and milder conditions overnight through Friday morning and another breezy, and even a warmer day Friday. Highs Friday afternoon will push the upper 70s.

There might be a few quick passing showers during the day Friday, but rain chances will be a meager 20%.

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Moving into Friday evening we will notice a definitive increase in southerly winds with gusts approaching 30-40 mph by midnight and perhaps 40-50 mph thereafter...even away from any storms.

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So secure trash bins, lawn furniture, hanging plants, signs, especially trampolines (Mother Nature's frisbees), and an any Christmas decoration stragglers!

Expect tornado watches to be issued for all of Acadiana as early as Friday evening and will they likely continue within a few hours of daybreak Saturday.

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The primary severe weather threats for Acadiana will be for storms that could produce 60-70 mph winds or greater, and perhaps a couple of isolated strong tornadoes...strong tornadoes are considered EF2 on the Enhanced Fiujita scale, or stronger...EF2 tornadoes can produce 111-135 mph winds.

The greatest risk of severe storms time-wise and parish by parish are listed in the graphic below:

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Wind dynamics aloft will be very impressive for the Acadiana area with a low-level jet stream pushing 75-80 mph...this means any storms could tap into those kind of winds and produce the same intensity gusts down to the surface.

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What we will be looking for initially, is a few isolated storms that develop ahead of the main squall line that could develop as early as Friday evening, as even some of the smallest cells could spin-up a quick isolated tornado.

Then as a solid squall line of thunderstorms pushes across the area during the wee morning hours of Saturday, cells just ahead of the squall could become briefly tornadic, and then within the main line of storms, wind gusts to 50-55 mph will likely be common, along with gusts exceeding 70-80 mph in some of the super cell thunderstorms that may embed within the line.

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Any severe storms won't last more than an hour, and even with scattered showers and a few non severe storms that may follow into mid-morning, rain totals will still be in the 1-3" range or less, so no flooding is anticipated locally.

All rains should end Saturday afternoon, with even some intervals of sun expected before the day is done.

It will turn sharply colder Saturday night into Sunday morning with temperatures dropping into the upper 30s to lower 40s.

Sunday will be a quiet day under partial sunshine limited by a return of high clouds. Temperatres Sunday should reach the cooler, lower 60s.

Next week looks rather unsettled milder with plenty of clouds, and likely daily rain chances Monday through Thursday.

See the KATC 10 Day Forecast for the latest.

Tracking radar? Click here.