Today's weather outlook: Thursday (Special weather alert from Ascension OHSEP)

Staff reports

The severe and rain risk will end as the cold front moves through Thursday morning but only for a short while. The cold front is expected to stall near the coast in the Gulf Thursday before retreating slowly back to the north as a warm front Thursday night. Rain is expected to return over the region Friday morning with scattered showers throughout the day and evening Friday.

Saturday morning through early afternoon the weather will become quite active once again. There are multiple indications that a surface low will develop in the northwestern Gulf early Saturday morning and move across SELA and coastal MS during the day. Abundant moisture will be in place and given the possible track of the surface low there will be ample shear to work with along with the southeastern half of the outlook area moving under the unstable Warm Sector. Other factors are coming into play and could make this system both a heavy rain and severe weather producer. The greatest risk for Severe weather will be along and southeast of a line from Donaldsonville, LA to Poplarville, MS.  Again all modes of severe weather are possible but damaging winds and tornadoes will be the greater risk. In addition widespread rainfall beginning early Saturday morning and through early afternoon could drop 2-4 inches of rain will locally higher amounts possible.

We would like to highlight though that Saturday's severe weather potential will HIGHLY depend on the track of the surface low. If the track is only 20-30 miles further to the south then the severe risk will likely be confined to the immediate coast and we will be looking at more of just a heavy rain event. If the track is only 20-30 miles further north then the severe risk will spread further inland and the potential for severe weather will increase as instability will be higher.