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Devastation in Rayne, LA, and Storm Chances for Mardi Gras

6 Mar 2011, 11:10 am

Good Sunday to everyone. We are watching more images coming out of Rayne, LA, the site of an EF2 tornado on Saturday that tragically killed one — and tracking the next system that could bring more of the same to the region by Tuesday.

Saturday’s Tornadoes

This is a map of the tornadoes that occurred during the day in Louisiana — a total of four, all within the Lake Charles Weather Forecast Office domain. The green triangles and tracks are EF0 strength tornadoes while the orange is the one lone EF2 tornado that hit Rayne. There was a total of 15 injuries from these tornadoes, 12 alone in Rayne, with that one death in Rayne — a mother protecting her young child when a tree fell on the house they were in.

Photo credits to Lisa Soileaux and Harold Gonzales of the Rayne Acadian-Tribune

Here is the statement from the NWS on the tornado:

*** 1 FATAL, 12 INJ *** NWS STORM SURVEY CONFIRMS AN EF2
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN. THE TORNADO WAS 300 YARDS WIDE AND
PRODUCED A DAMAGE PATH 5 MILES LONG. EXTENSIVE DAMAGE
NORTHWEST SECTION OF RAYNE WITH AT LEAST 35 HOMES DAMAGED
ALONG WITH SEVERAL BUSINESSES AND THE HIGH SCHOOL. CITY
OF RAYNE POLICE CONFIRM 12 INJURIES…1 FATALITY.
FATALITY WAS 21 YEAR OLD FEMALE PROTECTING DAUGHTER
DURING STORM WHEN TREE FELL THROUGH HOUSE.

Where the System is Today


The system today continues to work its way east, with precipitation stretching from Maine all the way to Florida — this radar image is from earlier this morning. Parts of New England today could see over an inch of snow, while other places such as Maine and upstate New York could see over a foot of snow. Before today’s storm Syracuse, NY had seen 160.1″ of snow this season, making it the ninth snowiest on record. With a foot expected today, we could see the 2010-11 season slide into 4th place for snowiest seasons on record. And to think that Syracuse only averages 10 feet (or 120 inches) a snow in a winter season!

1. 1992-93 192.1 inches
2. 2000-01 191.9 inches
3. 2003-04 181.3 inches
4. 1995-96 170.9 inches
5. 1991-92 166.9 inches

9. 2010-11 160.1 inches

Clash of the Seasons Continue

We have another storm that will be working its way through the middle of the country by the middle of the week, bringing more snow to the upper Midwest and severe storm with heavy rain to the south.

Severe Threat


This is the severe threat for your day on Tuesday, otherwise known this week as Mardi Gras. For those partying in New Orleans, some storms could rumble their way on in during the day Tuesday, but most will likely hold off at this time for Ash Wednesday. Some of these storms could be severe, with the main threats being damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. This will again hit areas that have been recently hit with rounds of severe storms — and this is likely to continue over the next few weeks. We have gotten stuck in a pattern that won’t break, and this weather is very typical of a La Nina spring, especially with severe weather shifting to the east, out of typical Tornado Alley. While the overall picture above shows severe storms stretching into the Ohio River Valley — that threat appears to have diminished for the moment. That, however, doesn’t mean you’ll be left out of more heavy rain chances.

Heavy Rain

Here are Flood Watches and Warnings as of this morning due to heavy rains occurring in these areas yesterday and today.

This is the estimated rainfall for the day on Tuesday — which brings up to an inch into areas such as the Ohio River Valley that do not need any more rain. Already part of the Ohio and many other smaller rivers are near or over their banks, leading to numerous flood warnings. In these areas, they saw another 1-2″ of rain yesterday due to the same system that cause the tornado in Louisiana. Luckily at the moment the next system does not appear to bring as much rain to the area, however this will certainly not help the situation in many of these areas.

Snow

This is expected snowfall through late Thursday. This system could bring a foot of snow to parts of Nebraska, Iowa, SE Minnesota and into Wisconsin. Late last week we were watching as the heaviest band was expected to set up over Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities — over the weekend we have seen the models shift the storm southward. The storm that will be cause of all this weather is going to be moving onshore soon, so we should have a more defined path after that happens. We have now seen 7  model runs though with the storm taking this more southern path, so we’re hoping this path sticks. However, before we saw the southward trend, we saw numerous runs with the storm taking that more northern path. In other words — there is still plenty of wiggle room over the next few days. Storms that come out directly of the 4 corners region and not dig too far south into Texas are notorious for wigging and not falling in line with the models, so we’ll keep our eye on this for the latest.

That’s all for today — I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the very latest!

D.J. Kayser for WeatherNation
Twitter @weathrlver

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