It will be a windy and potentially stormy Easter Sunday for Acadiana as a potent storm system rolls out of the Southwest and Plains heading toward the Midwest by Monday.
Locally there will be two distinct threats for Acadiana: due to the relatively deep low pressure system that will develop to our north Sunday, a tightening pressure gradient will allow for strong southerly to southwesterly winds Sunday.
Latest computer models indicating gusts to 45-50 mph will be possible across the entire area from mid-late morning into the early afternoon, while the Euro is even suggesting gusts as high as 60 mph may be possible..and many of these gusts are likely to occur even away from storms.
Some trees and/or large tree limbs may go down since our trees locally are fully "leaved". Therefore, sporadic power outages may be possible, especially in the "usual" rural areas.
in addition, those strong winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue Flood Warnings for the coastal areas where tides will likely increase up to 2.5 feet above normal inundating low areas such as Intracoastal City, portions of Delcambre, Cypremort Point and all of our local ports.
Then our attention will focus on the risk of strong to severe storms across the region.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has most of Acadiana hatched in for an "enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) of severe storms, with a more ominous and rare "moderate" risk (level 4 out of 5) from Central Louisiana on north and eastward into Mississippi.
These threat levels are rarely forecast for our area...perhaps once per year or every two, so Sunday will need to be a "weather-aware" day. Make sure you have the KATC Weather App on your phone and the location services and notifications set "on".
While it appears that the main focus of severe storms should be centered more toward the north part of the state eastward, any storms that get cooking across the area will likely be capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 70 mph and perhaps a few isolated "significant (EF2 or greater and perhaps long-tracked) tornadoes...that's better than 111 mph winds folks!
While the models appear to be underplaying the coverage of showers and storms across the area (60-70% or less), any storms that get cranking locally from the mid-morning into the mid-afternoon will have to be watched extremely closely.
The helicty forecast (atmospheric spin potential that could lead to tornadoes and/or damaging winds) appears to be highest across Acadiana during the mid-late morning into the very early afternoon, but will be much greater to our north and then likely to our east.
Following the helicty forecast, the "Significant Tornado Index" (EF2 or greater) appears to favor Western/Central and Northern Louisiana for the best chances of tornadoes...with the product showing a very strong signal for the possibility of potentially deadly and damaging twisters into Mississippi and perhaps then into Western Alabama.
After culling all the models, it appears the storm prime-time for Acadiana should be any time from mid-morning into the mid-afternoon.
Do expect a tornado watches for the entire state Sunday.
In addition, there could be a few super cell storms that could produce a more common "down-burst" wind damage scenario, with winds gusting to 60-70 mph or greater in any severe storms that develop.
Some storms may produce some large hail as well, but this may be confined to the extreme northern portions of Acadiana and points to the north of there.
Due to the progressive nature of the storms, rainfall amounts should not be a concern with rain amounts generally an inch or less.
Showers and storms should begin to end in the latter part of the afternoon with even the possibility of some sun to follow...which could make for an outstanding picture-taking potential of the backside of the storms to our east and into the sunset time period.
Drier/cooler air will follow Sunday night into Monday...with a secondary surge of even cooler air to follow midweek.
So we just have to get through Sunday and then it should be relatively smooth and cooler sailing for much of next week.
See the KATC 10 Day Forecast for the latest and stay weather aware Sunday.