Update, 8:25 a.m.

St. Charles Catholic High School in St. Charles Parish will be closed Wednesday.

Update, 8 a.m.

St. James Parish schools will begin late today. High schools will start at 10:30 a.m., and elementary schools will start at 11:30 a.m.

Buses will begin picking up high schools students at 9:30 a.m.

All Head Start classes have been canceled.

In Plaquemines Parish, Belle Chasse Academy will dismiss at 11:30 a.m.

Original story:

All public and Catholic schools in St. John the Baptist Parish are closed Wednesday because severe weather is predicted for that area during the morning commute and pick-up hours.

Neither students nor employees should report to campuses, public parish school system spokeswoman Jennifer Boquet said in a news release sent out early Wednesday.

About the time that the cancellation of classes was announced, the National Weather Service in New Orleans included southwestern St. John the Baptist in a tornado warning that would be in effect until 6:45 a.m. Other areas included were northwestern Lafource Parish, central Assumption Parish, southwestern St. James Parish and northwestern Terrebonne Parish.

Forecasters warned that golf ball-sized hail was also possible, aside from a tornado.

“Damage to roofs, windows and vehicles will occur,” the National Weather Service said. “Tree damage is likely.”

St. John — as well as Lafourche and St. Charles parishes — was then included in a severe thunderstorm warning until 7:15am.

An EF-2 tornado on Feb. 23 caused widespread damage to homes and businesses in the St. John community of LaPlace. That same day, an EF-3 tornado in the St. James community of Convent killed two men at an RV park.

Forecasters expect heavy rain for the New Orleans area on Wednesday and Thursday. Some 2 to 4 inches of rain are possible near the Interstate 10/Interstate 12 corridor, the Weather Service has said.