Plenty of rain -- and a chance of severe weather -- on the way for south Louisiana _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- A woman crosses North Blvd. as a heavy thunderstorm moved into the Baton Rouge area in April 2013.

With festival season hitting its stride this weekend, the weather in south Louisiana has decided not to be cooperative.

A weak cold front will bring a slight chance of severe weather for Louisiana throughout Friday which could include strong to damaging winds, large hail and a small chance of tornados. Locally heavy rain and frequent lightning strikes are included in the forecast with bad weather expected to hit between noon and early evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Chances of rain and thunderstorms continue through the weekend periodically with between 50 and 70 percent chances forecast in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans for Saturday and Sunday.

“Weekend will not be a total washout,” the National Weather Service forecast said. “But there will be several opportunities for Mother Nature to spoil outdoor activities.”

In anticipation of the expected rain, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival will be held in the Baton Rouge River Center Exhibition Hall, Galleria and Ballroom areas instead of outside.

The timing of the rain will impact a number of outdoor events this weekend such as French Quarter Fest, the Strawberry Festival, LSU baseball and University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball.