Strong storms/heavy rainfall possible Sunday and Monday, a look at weather close to Christmas

An active weather pattern continues across the area today with widespread clouds and light rains continuing to move into southern areas. This rainfall is not incredibly heavy and a light-to-moderate rainfall can be expected in some areas through the duration of the afternoon. Rainfall is keeping temperatures down though as temperatures are still sitting in the 40s across the area. Highs may get into the low 50s later this afternoon before temperatures begin to fall tonight.

A few breaks in the clouds could be possible tomorrow, which could allow temperatures to reach the upper 50s to near 60 degrees. Winds will slowly be shifting easterly and later southeasterly, bringing in warm air off the Gulf. Meanwhile, an upper-level impulse will be developing across Mexico and slowly moving eastward. This will increase southwesterly flow aloft, allowing more moisture into the atmosphere. As atmospheric lift increases, storms will begin to break out across eastern Texas Saturday evening. Some of this rain could begin to move into the area Saturday night.

By Sunday morning, a weak surface disturbance will move across the state, bringing in warm/moist air off the Gulf. The track of this system is important, but looking at the latest models, it appears the system will track right across Acadiana. The most unstable air will be south and southeast of the low pressure system. This is important because the areas most unstable will be the most likely to see heavier thunderstorm activity. Winds will be increasing and turning with height and anytime we see that pattern around here in the winter we have to watch for the possibility of tornadoes. However, instability is lacking, which could save us from seeing any type of severe weather. Current threat level is a 1 out of 5, meaning the threat is very low.

The upper-level impulse will continue to slowly move into the area Monday and Tuesday, keeping decent rain chances in the forecast. Adding up the Sunday through Tuesday time frame, most of Acadiana will likely see 1-3 inches of rainfall, with some areas getting isolated higher amounts. It’s not all bad though, as many areas of Acadiana could actually use the rainfall.

Looking beyond, long-range models show cold air continuing to come into the area through the next 5-10 days. In fact, some models continue to show very cold air coming in as we head closer to Christmas time. I do have to stress, however, that this is still 10 days out on the model, so plenty can change. At the very least, I feel comfortable saying that we will most likely see several bouts of cold air through the next 10-12 days, but timing and degree of cold will most likely change. It is interesting to look at though!

~Meteorologist Trevor Sonnier

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