FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Tropical downpours arrive today through the weekend

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Tropical downpours arrive; heavy rain threat through the weekend

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Hopefully you got to enjoy the relatively drier weather most of the day Thursday as the pattern is flipping back to the wetter side beginning today thanks to the approach of a tropical wave off the Gulf of Mexico that will begin to increase rain chances today and through the weekend. Storms today will be capable of heavy downpours that could lead to some spots of localized flooding, with more widespread rain totals between 1 and 2 inches. Also, cloud-to-ground lightning will make for hazardous conditions for those outdoors today.

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Tropical downpours arrive; heavy rain threat through the weekend

Computer models show the highest rain totals over the coastal parishes up to Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes with lower rain amounts further. While everyone won’t get the same amount of rain, it’s important to know that our main hazard will be localized flooding in any downpour that stalls over the same area and that possibility could occur anywhere in the viewing area, just not areawide.

We’ll see a lull in activity by this evening as the sun sets but only to return Saturday as the trough of low pressure moves ashore. Heavy rain will again be the main concern with tropical downpours on Saturday returning the same threat of localized flooding of poor drainage and low-lying areas. An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain will be likely on Saturday with locally higher amounts.

Hourly forecasts will greatly depend on timing the individual rain bands that move ashore which are next to impossible to predict more than a couple hours in advance, so be prepared for rain this weekend to affect your outdoor plans and have an indoor alternative. If you’re planning to travel anywhere across South Louisiana, be aware of the threat that some roads could flood during times of heavy rain and be prepared to move to higher ground.

By Sunday, rain chances look to be a little lower but with the remnant trough of low pressure in place and upper level trough overhead, scattered showers and thunderstorms will again be likely with rain chances between 50 and 60%. Next week keeps our daily rain chances in place with afternoon highs in the 90s, and scattered thunderstorms a lot like we saw earlier this week on the return each afternoon. Rain chances each day remain around 40%.

Long range models are advertising a cold front by next weekend which could be a game changer to our excessively high humidity and swelter, providing a chance of a noticeable summer cooldown with lows possibly as cool as the 60s and night with highs in the 80s. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Outside of Tropical Depression Chantal out over the open waters of the Atlantic posing no threat to land, an area over the Bahamas could develop by the weekend off the eastern seaboard of Florida or the Carolinas but will likely remain offshore. Regardless, nothing is threatening the Gulf of Mexico or Southwest Louisiana in the tropics through next week.

First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry

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