Heavy storms, “wake low” impacts Louisiana, leaving dozens lost at sea

Chris Cozart, Meteorologist in Lafayette, Louisiana

Chris Cozart, Meteorologist in Lafayette, Louisiana

HOUSTON (CW39) CW39 meteorologist Star Harvey talks with Chris Cozart in Lafayette, Louisiana to about the ‘wake low’ and its devastating impact on the area.

What is a ‘Wake low?’

The storm system that caused the most damage is called a “wake low.” This caused a boat to capsize.

A “wake low’ is when these storms roll through with high pressure right behind the storm. Then the low pressure system quickly forms in a very small area – about 50 miles behind.

From there, that low pressure tightens almost like a hurricane and can get those wind speeds really kicking up. It’s usually a high wind event that happens in a ‘wake low.’

Sure enough, that’s what caused the boat to capsize most recently. There were 70-80 mph wind gusts which equates to a Category 1 hurricane. Many captains called in more May-Days than they’ve heard in awhile.

As for touchdowns of tornados, they had a EF3 tornado touch down in a rural area Saturday morning. Then things began to be more active for the entire state as they got into the start of this week.

Frontal boundaries and upper level energy began to roll over the area, so it’s really been a heavy rain threat, but they’ve dealt with some large size hail and very strong winds.

Even after all of that, severe weather continues to impact the area this morning with a line of storms moving back into the Gulf of Mexico. So they’re settling down.

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