Flooding affects some parishes in central Louisiana

Published: Apr. 30, 2017 at 10:55 PM CDT
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The weekend was, to say the least, unsettled. A strong disturbance aloft tracked from New Mexico to northwest Missouri during the weekend and set the stage for the wet weather. A copious amount of moisture responded to this system from the Gulf of Mexico and provided fuel for the heavy thunderstorms that would eventually develop.

This weekend's rainfall pattern was complex, with three distinct events. The first wave was caused by a piece of energy aloft that broke away from the main disturbance and triggered a cluster of storms over southeast Texas. This convection moved north-northeast and affected Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes with heavy rain Saturday morning through mid-afternoon Saturday. Robeline measured over four inches from that system. Several reports of damaging wind were noted as well.

Another piece of energy caused the second event Saturday evening. This brought heavy rain and hail to portions of Allen, Evangeline, and Vernon Parishes.

The main disturbance finally got on the move Saturday night and brought event #3 Saturday night and Sunday morning. This was mainly a heavy rain situation instead of a severe weather producer.

As you know, rainfall is highly variable, especially when three distinct episodes combine to produce the totals and that is apparent from looking at the accompanying graphic. The rain was widespread and extremely heavy at some locations. Not shown are the following high-end totals:

Hessmer in Avoyelles Parish recorded 9.79 inches near Highway 1188 and J.J. Lane southwest of town. In town, a gauge measured 7.70 inches. In the Hamburg-Moreauville area, 8.15 inches fell. These extreme amounts were caused by the system temporarily slowing down, which allowed convection to train, or repeat, over the same area. Just to put this in historical perspective, the 10.9 inches at Bunkie in 3-4 hours may be a 200-year event. It's no wonder roads were closed and water invaded homes.

Much better weather is on the way for the early part of the week but more rain is expected by midweek.