A cold front pushing through Texas at midday will interact with a warm and wet air mass situated over the state of Louisiana this afternoon. The combination of an unstable atmosphere over Acadiana combined with the lift in the atmosphere provided by the approaching cold front could spark off some rather large thunderstorms before midnight tonight.

The National Severe Storms Forecast Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the extreme northern fringes of Acadiana. This watch does include all of Central Louisiana and the parishes along the I-20 corridor. The watch is in effect until 8pm tonight.

The heart of Acadiana including Lafayette, Crowley, New Iberia, Abbeville and St. Martinville is currently not included in this watch but that doesn't mean we won't see heavy thunderstorms be placed under a watch for later this afternoon.

The current radar scan shows very clearly the progression of the frontal system and associated thunderstorms through the area. Most of the heavier activity is expected to move through the area by midnight.

After midnight cooler temperatures will fill in behind the front. The forecast for Friday includes a slight chance of showers early, followed by clearing skies and abundant sunshine for later in the day. The forecast for the first big parade weekend of Mardi Gras suggests that rain will not be an issue with any of the events that are scheduled.