Wednesday Afternoon Forecast Update/Remembering Katrina

Today marks the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in South Louisiana and Mississippi. The hurricane was the sixth strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin and at one point, the second Category 5 Hurricane of the 2005 season. Katrina formed on August 23rd and crossed south Florida as a Category 1 Hurricane. The storm made its second landfall along the southeast tip of Louisiana as a Category 4 Hurricane on August 29th. Later that day the large hurricane moved into south Mississippi as a Category 3 Storm. After the eye of Katrina passed, the levee system in New Orleans failed leading to catastrophic flooding in parts of the city. The full force of the wind and storm surge ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the rebuilding in that region continues today. Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at 81.2 billion dollars. Also, this was the deadliest hurricane to strike since 1928. Right now there are a few tropical waves being monitored in the Atlantic Basin. At this point we don’t see any of these features posing a threat to southeast.

Our local weather has been quite steamy today. We’ve had a mix of clouds and sun, with scattered thunderstorms. A nice downpour just occurred near the station and the reason for the heavy rain is that the air is loaded with moisture. Dewpoint’s are high and this will make for a muggy evening with patchy fog developing. Temperatures have been in the low 90s today, and lows will be in the 70s. There is an upper level disturbance nearby and this could help spark some spotty thunderstorms overnight.

Tomorrow the trend will continue with lots of sun through mid-morning. By the afternoon the thunderstorms will start popping up and they will be slow movers, which will make for higher rain amounts. Another front will drop into the region and enhance the chance for a passing shower or thunderstorm on Friday. Rather than the rain being limited to the afternoon hours, we could see some rain before lunchtime. I would keep the poncho handy for this Labor Day weekend, as the chance for afternoon thunderstorms will continue for Saturday and Sunday. According to the latest data, the bulk of the thunderstorm activity should be south of Tuscaloosa as the Alabama Football Game gets kicked off Saturday afternoon.

By the way, if you’re driving to Starkville, MS to watch MSU take on LSU tomorrow night, I would certainly have the rain gear. There will be numerous thundershowers scattered about in the afternoon; however, that activity will be dissipating around kick-off time.

Chief Meteorologist Wes Wyatt
WVUA-TV Weather

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