A significant severe weather threat is expected to develop for portions of Louisiana and Acadiana Wednesday, with the highest risk of severe storms anticipated to be from the northern Acadiana Parishes into Central and Northeastern Louisiana.
The Storm Prediction Center has most of Acadiana hatched in for a a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) for severe storms, with the northern-most parishes of Acadiana (Allen, Evangeline, St Landry, Avoyelles & Rapides) in the zone of an enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) for severe storms.
A slight risk is yields a 15% probability that severe storms will occur within a 25 mile range of any point in the risk area, while and enhanced risk is a 30% chance of the same occurring.
Storms containing damaging winds and isolated, perhaps strong tornadoes (EF2 or greater), will be the main threat to our area, with again the northern parishes taking on the highest risk.
These storms will be associated with a strong upper disturbance in the Southwest U.S. that will be like a bowling ball heading into "Dixie Tornado Alley"...meaning Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama...but the northeastern part of the state is also in a "moderate" risk of severe storms...upping the probability to 45% there.
The same system was kicking up a significant dust storm Tuesday afternoon across portions of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas near El Paso.
Any way you slice it, a significant severe weather outbreak with several damaging, intense, long-tracked tornadoes in the South are expected Wednesday afternoon and evening, with a fairly substantial threat advancing toward the Atlantic Southeast U.S. Thursday.
Per usual, Acadiana will likely be in the initiation zone of where storms begin to get fired up...this is expected during the mid-afternoon into the early evening hours.
A few supercell storms may develop locally that will be capable of rotation, producing damaging winds and/or isolated tornadoes.
Prime-time for the severe storms in Acadiana (from west to east) will be from roughly 2-3 pm through 8-9 pm.
Certainly expect a tornado "watch" for the area and stay weather aware into the afternoon hours.
In the near term it will stay breezy and mild overnight with the slight chance (20%) of a passing shower through Wednesday morning.
It will be a windy day across Acadiana ahead of the storms, with latest model guidance suggesting gusts approach 30 mph midday, up to 40 mph for the mid-late afternoon.
These high wind gusts can be expected a couple of hours in advance of storms with highest gusts, 50 mph or higher, in and near more intense thunderstorm activity.
A strong cool front will push across the Acadiana area Wednesday evening clearing skies before midnight with some fresh and cool weather to follow for the rest of the week and into the weekend.
The weather will become unsettled and potentially stormy again for the mid-latter part of next week.
See the KATC 10 Day Forecast for the latest.
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