The Storm Prediction Center is keeping all of Acadiana under the gun for an "enhanced" threat, a level 3 out of 5, of severe storms late Friday night into early Saturday morning, all associated with a strong cold front and robust jet stream dynamics.
Into Friday night, expect southerly winds to gradually increase, with gusts likely approaching 30-40 mph around midnight and perhaps 40-50 mph thereafter...even away from any storms.
So secure trash bins, lawn furniture, hanging plants, signs, especially trampolines (Mother Nature's frisbees), and an any Christmas decoration stragglers!
With the anticipated threat of severe storms, expect "tornado watches" to be issued for all of Acadiana overnight continuing within a few hours of daybreak Saturday.
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 that could produce significant tornadoes would be from the northern Acadiana Parishes (Vernon, Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, St Landry and areas north) back into Western, Central and Northern Louisiana.
This does not mean the rest of us may not see any tornadoes farther to the south.
The severe weather threat will advance quickly to th east early tomorrow.
Wind dynamics aloft will be very impressive for the Acadiana area with a low-level jet stream, at 5,000 feet, pushing 70-80 mph...this means any storms could tap into those kind of winds and produce the same intensity gusts down to the surface.
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 shortly after midnight, especially western portions of the area, as even some of the smaller-looking 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.
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 Saturday, rain totals will generally be in the 1-2" 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 early limited by a return of high clouds for the afternoon. Temperatures Sunday should reach the cool lower 60s.
Next week looks rather unsettled milder with plenty of clouds, and likely daily rain chances Monday and Tuesday.
The pattern will remain unsettled through the rest of the week, but decidedly colder and clear weather could be in store for the area by late next weekend and into the early part of the following week.
See the KATC 10 Day Forecast for the latest.
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