A good portion of our area is now under a tornado watch effective through 6 p.m. Parishes in Louisiana currently include East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Hammond and Washington. In addition to these, areas to our west are also under a watch. Wilkinson, Amite, Pike and Walthall in Mississippi are also under a tornado watch.
The risk factor for tornadoes is greatest in northeast Louisiana and central Mississippi, but this does not mean that a tornado is not possible in other areas.
The areas in red on the graphic above are currently under a moderate risk for severe weather. Areas in yellow are under an enhanced risk. Areas in in brown are under a slight risk, and areas in green are under a marginal risk.
As far as timing is concerned, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. is when Baton Rouge and surrounding areas will face these threats, and 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. is when areas around New Orleans will face threats.
The greatest threat is damaging winds. Gusts may exceed 70 mph, which could result in minor structural damage and fallen trees. Tornadoes are another big threat. Hail may be larger than 1″ in diameter, and heavy rain could lead to flooding in low lying areas and places with poor drainage.
Make sure to stay weather aware throughout the day. Take extra precautions when driving, and make sure that you seek immediate shelter if a warning is issued where you are. Also, be sure to have multiple ways of receiving weather alerts in case one method fails. Follow along for more updates throughout the day.