Yesterday I was out fishing at Shell Beach and watched the late night weather programs. SPC had SE LA in the lowest risk (marginal) for severe weather for Tuesday. Capt. Hylton & I decided to stay overnight and fish Tuesday morning before any storms would arrive. Watching the early morning weathercasts, SPC now placed the North Shore in a higher risk (slight) for severe storms with the South Shore still in the lowest risk. So off we went at daybreak. While catching some trout around 7-8 AM, the FOX 8 Weather APP sounded to inform me that we were now under a Tornado Watch. In years past before cell phones, we would have no clue the severe risk was increasing. I checked the live radar & felt the early storms would stay to our north & west. Around 10:15 AM, Tornado Warnings sounded on my cell phone. Again I checked the radar and determined we were still safe. BY then the winds at Shell Beach were cranking at 25-40+ and fishing had noticeably slowed. But on we fished. Shortly after 11 AM the skies began to darken and another Tornado Warning came across my phone. It truly is amazing to have this voice come on to warn you of approaching danger. No longer can dangerous weather sneak up on you. Capt. Hylton’s wife (Etta) called from Destrehan to make sure we were heading in as it was storming out there. So In we came back to the dock with about 10 minutes to spare before the skies opened up. I did not find out about how really bad the tornado damage was until I watched FOX 8 at 4 PM. From seeing the videos & destruction, I’m convinced the reason no one was killed is because many folks have down loaded weather apps into their phones. If you haven’t done that yet, please don’t wait any longer. You can set the app so you only receive the warnings you want. It is without a doubt a lifesaving technology. It is not a gimmick. It has helped me while out golfing with the lightning alert & now with severe storms while fishing. There is a book called WHEN GOD WINKS. Don’t know if it was the Creator or the FOX 8 Weather APP…but today someone was winking!
The reason SPC was late latching on to today’s severe threat was probably due to the models not picking up on the intensity of the upper air disturbance. Future models are showing several more southern disturbances coming in the next 7-10 days so expect more severe weather. In addition, very cold air (below zero) has invaded the northern states and there are signs that a deep East Coast trough will bring that chill down late next week…just in time for the Mardi Gras parades! Figures! Been so warm for so long. Stay tuned!