State offices and most schools in the New Orleans region closed early Tuesday as forecasters warned of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms.
So far, the most heavily hit areas have primarily been north and east of New Orleans, with tornado touchdowns on the Northshore and around Baton Rouge. Meteorologist Andrew Ansorge with the National Weather Service in Slidell says it’s a little rare to have this strong of a storm this early in the year.
“This is a time of year when we expect to start to see severe weather and a little bit of an uptick along the Gulf Coast, so this isn’t unheard of," Ansorge says. "But the storm prediction center did put us under a moderate risk of severe weather today – they only go up to high risk, so this is just one step below that and the last time that happened was Christmas day of 2012. So it’s been a little while. So it’s a little rare to have this high of a risk of severe weather down on the Gulf Coast.”
He says the worst of it will pass early Tuesday evening, though storms will linger overnight. There are tornado watches in effect for most of southeast Louisiana until 10 p.m.
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