Almost as if on cue, heavy thunderstorms passed through much of southeast Louisiana Thursday evening, arriving in time for “Severe Weather Awareness Week,” which ends Saturday.

“We’re certainly expecting the potential for thunderstorms,” said Bob Wagner, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The greatest potential for severe weather in Baton Rouge will occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday evening. As the front moves farther east and south, the greater New Orleans area and Houma could see thunderstorms and severe weather from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Some of the storms would have the potential to produce winds up to the 40 to 50 mph range or even a little higher,” Wagner said. Although there is a chance of tornados associated with this line of thunderstorms, he said the chance is very low.

“The main concern would be the potential for some wind damage,” Wagner said.

The thunderstorms are almost a punctuation point as the state’s “Severe Weather Awareness Week” draws to a close.

Most people think severe weather in Louisiana only means tropical storms, however the recent ice storms that shut down major highways and made travel almost impossible through much of south Louisiana highlighted that severe weather can happen anytime. In addition to making an emergency weather plan, including what residents should do when a shelter in place or an evacuation is ordered because of bad weather, it’s also important for people to put together an emergency kit.

These kits should include flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, snacks, a manual can opener, at least three gallons of water per person and pet as well as any special items that might be needed.

Information about what should go into an emergency plan and kit are available at the following sites: