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Tornado watch issued for southeast Louisiana: See forecast for Baton Rouge, New Orleans

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NWS New Orleans
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A tornado watch was in effect for southeast Louisiana on March 22, 2022.

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena and West Baton Rouge parishes are all under a flash flood warning until 7:30 p.m.


UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.: A tornado watch was issued for much of southeast Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans metro areas. The watch is in effect until 7 p.m., according to forecasters.

Wind gusts up to 75 mph are also now likely, increasing from a predicted 50 mph on Monday. Forecasters said Tuesday that hail the size of a ping pong ball is possible due to the severe weather.


The first few days of Spring are here, and already forecasters are warning of severe storms headed toward southeastern Louisiana.

Affecting much of the South, especially Louisiana and Mississippi, multi-hazard storms will pour down on the region beginning Monday and through Wednesday. That system will move through the Pelican State’s northwestern corner Monday before making its way to metro Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Hannah Lisney, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Slidell, said the storm poses the biggest threat to the Baton Rouge region.

“In Baton Rouge, there will be a multi-hazard event,” Lisney said. “The possibility of tornadoes, severe hail and wind: they’re all on the table. The tornado threat is going to be more of a Baton Rouge issue, and tornado probability is much higher in Baton Rouge than New Orleans.”

The Capitol region is in the moderate-risk zone beginning Tuesday, with wind gusts up to 75 mph and heavy rainfall moving through the area either by late morning or early afternoon. On top of the possibility of tornadoes and hail the size of a ping pong ball, multiple parishes in the Baton Rouge area are also under a flash flood warning until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Lisney said New Orleans could also see these types of severe weather conditions, except its metro area isn’t under a flash flood watch. The Crescent City region is under an “enhanced risk,” which is just below moderate.

Heavy rainfall will likely move over New Orleans in the early afternoon as well and could last into just after midnight Wednesday.

Weather to expect in Baton Rouge:

  • Tornado watch in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday
  • Flash flood warning in effect until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Flash flood watch in effect from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday
  • Wind advisory in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday
  • Tuesday temperature: high of 79 and low of 51
  • Thunderstorms will likely begin late morning or early afternoon; storms should wrap up by 9 p.m. 
  • Wind gusts up to 75 mph
  • Rainfall up to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts possible
  • Potential severe weather threats include tornadoes, hail the size of a ping pong ball and flooding
  • Wednesday temperature: high of 68, low of 44 and mostly sunny

Weather to expect in New Orleans:

  • Tornado watch in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday
  • Wind advisory in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday
  • Tuesday temperature: high of 79 and low of 54
  • Thunderstorms will likely begin late morning or early afternoon; storms should wrap up after midnight Wednesday
  • Wind gusts up to 75 mph
  • Less than a tenth of an inch of rainfall amounts, though locally higher amounts possible
  • Potential severe weather threats include tornadoes and hail the size of a ping pong ball
  • Wednesday temperature: high of 66, low of 48 and and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning; mostly sunny after

Lisney said a system like this isn’t abnormal for this time of year, but the severity of it is rare. To prepare, officials and forecasters have released information on how to be weather aware this week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, put out a release urging those living in temporary trailers to pay attention to weather alerts, charge their phones ahead of Tuesday’s event and move to a sturdier building in the case of a possible evacuation. They also reminded residents living in FEMA housing that they cannot move the trailer unit, even during a severe storm.

NWS officials repeated what FEMA said: pay attention to current weather forecasts and the news, and have a plan in place in case tornadoes crop up.