UPDATE: Lake Charles, DeRidder under tornado watch
Published 10:43 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Strong winds will develop across the area today as a strong area of low pressure approaches Southwest Louisiana.
National Weather Service Lake Charles meteorologist Chanelle Stigger said sustained winds of 25-35 mph, gusting up to 55 mph, is expected.
“Even before severe storms arrive, scattered power outages and downed tree branches will be possible from these strong winds,” Stigger said.
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She said coastal flooding is also likely.
“We’re looking at some of these tides coming up pretty high with water covering the highway near Johnson Bayou,” Stigger said. “If you are out on the water, I suggest you come in. If you know someone out on the water, I suggest you tell them to come back in.”
Thunderstorms will continue developing ahead of the cold front headed this way with tornados and large hail also possible.
“For those in mobile homes, I would suggest heading somewhere else for your own safety,” she said.
She said a tornado watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana — including Lake Charles and DeRidder — through 6 p.m. tonight.
“If you think of a tornado as a cake, we have all the ingredients here to make it,” she said.
Stigger said excessive rainfall is also a threat to the entire region.
“We are looking at 2-3 inches of rain. We already have saturated grounds from previous days — we’re not in that drought anymore — and when this comes down, it’ll come down fast and will provide that flooding threat,” Stigger said.
She said the cold front is expected to push through Southwest Louisiana by around 9 p.m.