The southerly flow at the surface and upper level southwest flow increased moisture throughout the atmosphere to provide plenty of fuel for the promised rain event that's taking over most of the area this New Year's Eve. Most locations are seeing light to moderate rain in spurts. The over running moisture triggered by several waves of energy pushing in from the west will continue to spark the showers right through prime time for New Year's Eve Celebrations.
The rainy period is prompting a Flood Watch for Saturday through Monday night that was expanded to include most of southeast Louisiana except the immediate coast and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The North Shore is seeing the brunt of early rain with the coverage expanding south thorough the day. One bright spot is that organizers say the soaking rains would not cancel fireworks displays so if you are up to braving the elements as long as there is no lightning around or exceptionally high winds the show will go on. Neither are likely as this is more of what's considered a stratiform rain event with very little thunderstorm activity.
Sunday will bring more breaks, but higher intensity to individual storms. A few heavy downpours may result in some localized street flooding. Most of the area will be in and out of the showers through out the day. It looks like the metro area and parishes east will get in on 2-to-3 inches of rain while North Shore, Mississippi and the River Parishes could see as much as 4-to-6 inches with a few higher locations. We will have to monitor closely through the weekend for short-term down pours creating street flooding and long term river rise. A few locations are already forecast to crest near flood stage and that forecast will fluctuate as actual rain totals are realized. It's important to note we shouldn't see any of the record rises like earlier in the year.
Here's to a wet, but happy start to 2017!
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