Saturday dry, then look for rain

Stormy weather over the Gulf of Mexico headed for Louisiana late Saturday was forecast to wash ashore during the next few days and drench much of southeastern Louisiana, National Weather Service meteorologists said Saturday.

While an area of low pressure in the Gulf that could have developed into Tropical Storm Fernand was no longer a concern, south Louisiana will still get doused with showers as a separate front moves into the area, said Bob Wagner, of the weather service’s Slidell office.

“I hesitate at this point to call it a system,” Wagner said of the would-be tropical storm. “Certainly, there’s no organized circulation in the southern Gulf at this point. Eventually, we expect it to move west-northwestward into Mexico.

“We’ve still got a stationary front that’s sitting just to the south of Louisiana and a little wave of low pressure is expected to move along that front, mainly this afternoon through tomorrow.”

Rain chances for Baton Rouge on Sunday were about 40 percent. However, the New Orleans area faced rain chances of 50-60 percent, Wagner said.

“The entire southeast Louisiana area will continue to see a pretty good chance of thunderstorms every day through Wednesday or Thursday,” he said. “In fact, Saturday is going to be the driest day through at least the middle of next week.”

By Saturday afternoon, the stormy front had stalled off the state’s southeastern coast, said Danielle Manning, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

“We’re still carrying a 50 percent chance of rain for most of the week,” Manning said.

Meanwhile, Fernand will soon be a distant weather memory. By Saturday afternoon, the chances that Fernand would develop into a tropical storm dwindled to 30 percent.

Forecasters were also keeping close watch on Tropical Storm Erin, which Saturday afternoon moved north-northwest in the Atlantic Ocean about 920 miles from the Cape Verde Islands.

“The forecast has (Erin) downgraded to a tropical depression tonight and to turn to the northwest and stay out to sea,” Manning said.