A tornado watch has just been issued for southeastern Louisiana, including the New Orleans area. There are well over 100,000 football fans in town, including many of our Auburn friends. And with a volatile weather situation unfolding in southeastern Louisiana, we want to warn our friends to pay close attention to the latest all afternoon and not be caught outside if dangerous weather hits.
It is warm and humid in New Orleans this morning. The temperature at Armstrong International in Kenner is 74F with a dewpoint of 74F. That’s 100% humidity with some really tropical air.
There are strong storms over Lake Ponchartrain northwest of New Orleans. A tornado warning just expired for the Northshore over Madisonville, west of Covington.
More storms are expected to develop through the afternoon. Storms that do form will be drawing on around 2,000 joules/kg of CAPE, which is moderately unstable. There is decent speed shear of 35-40 knots, so they will be organized and there is 200-300 m2/s2 of low level helicity so tornadoes are a real possibility. Fans out and about in the city should be weather aware and be able to duck in a safe place in case severe storms develop.
The main squall line is now over western Louisiana, from west of Alexandria to Lake Charles. And the airmass ahead of it is very unstable, with CAPE values running 3,000-3,500 joules/kg ahead of the line of storms, so it will be quite intense as it pushes east. The line should be approaching western portions of the New Orleans area between 4-5 p.m. CST and passing through the city between 5-6 p.m.
One piece of good news: the HRRR output, shown above, hints that the southern end of the line might be weakening as it approaches New Orleans. Hopefully that happens. But if it doesn’t, and the storms are severe, fans caught outside the stadium when the main line arrives could be in a dangerous situation. The gates to the Superdome are not supposed to open until 530 p.m. which could put fans in danger. Hopefully officials will open the gate early if the storms are approaching.
We urge our football fans in New Orleans to plan for the dangerous weather and to be careful.