Baton Rouge – The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging everyone to prepare now for possible severe weather expected to impact the state beginning Friday. The National Weather Service (NWS) indicates a line of storms is expected to develop west of Louisiana Friday evening. The storms will push across the state Friday night and Saturday. The storms are capable of producing tornadoes and damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.
GOHSEP will activate its Crisis Action Team (CAT) Friday due to the weather threat. The team will stay activated through Monday night due to the college football national championship game in New Orleans. The team will analyze and process any requests for support from local emergency managers at the parish level. GOHSEP’s regional coordinators will work with local officials potentially impacted by the storms and provide situational reports to the state emergency operations staff.
“It is important for everyone to prepare now and stay weather aware this weekend,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “We’ve already dealt with tornadoes and other problems as similar lines of storms moved across the state earlier this winter. It is difficult to determine exactly where the most dangerous conditions will develop. That’s why it is important to monitor your local media, listen to your local emergency managers and first responders and listen for potential watches or warnings issued by the NWS.”
Here are the latest updates from the NWS offices that cover Louisiana:
A strong upper level storm system will approach the Four State Region from the west, bringing a significant severe weather outbreak to our area late Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning. Tornadoes and damaging winds will be the primary threats. Large hail and isolated flash flooding will also be possible. The severe weather threat should end Saturday morning as the storms move east of our area.
NWS Jackson, MS (ArkLaMiss):
Severe thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon into early Saturday morning across portions of the ArkLaTex into the lower Mississippi Valley vicinity. Damaging wind gusts and tornadoes will be the main threats with these storms.
NWS Baton Rouge/New Orleans:
Showers and thunderstorms are expected Friday into Saturday. More storms are expected on Monday. The threat of severe weather on Saturday is mainly from the early morning hours into the early afternoon, especially north of Interstate 12. Heavy rain is possible with both the early weekend system and the one on Monday. Keep updated on the latest information on these storm systems.
NWS Lake Charles:
Confidence is increasing with the severe weather threat late Friday into Saturday. Storms will be capable of all hazards, with damaging wind gusts and tornadoes the primary threat. With the potential overnight timing, now is the time to ensure you have a way to get weather warnings.
Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of
emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.