The storms began again in southeast Louisiana on Thursday and are predicted to stick around until Saturday evening, but widespread flooding is not expected even though the waterlogged region could see another 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain.
Normally, it wouldn’t even be a question that such a small amount of rain wouldn’t be a problem. But after the severe weather that dumped 13 to 16 inches in some areas of southeast Louisiana within a matter of days, the ground is saturated. Despite that, experts said a number of factors point to why additional flooding is not expected.
Unlike last week’s storms, this weather system will develop into more isolated thunderstorms instead of producing widespread, heavy rain, said Frank Revitte, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. That spread-out rain pattern should help prevent all but some possible localized flooding.
In addition, levels on rivers like the Amite, Comite and Tangipahoa have gone down below flooding, so there is some capacity to accept more water.
For example, the Comite River near Joor Road near Central went from a crest of just more than 26 feet on Saturday to 1.6 feet on Thursday afternoon. The upcoming rain event is expected to raise that to only about 3.1 feet until it goes down again, according to information from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center.
“At the present time, we don’t think it will have a heavy impact on the rivers,” Revitte said.
However, some areas could get more rain than the 2.5 inches predicted, which could prolong flooding or lead to new flooding in certain areas. It depends on where, and for how long, rain falls in any particular spot.
By Thursday afternoon, there were numerous reports of hail, from nickel size to golf ball size or larger, Revitte said. Additional possible thunderstorms on Friday were expected to bring a returning chance of hail.
Most of the heavy rain is expected to fall in an area from Baton Rouge east and along the Interstate 10 and Interstate 12 corridor.
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