Update - Showers and Storms Hit the Maps

Tracking the rain moving in, and the heat moving out.

Friday is here! ...And so too will arrive the change in the weather-pattern that we've been talking about all week long. We have a big and winding storm system out west that is very uninterested in moving a whole lot, but it is interesting to see how it shows up on the maps:

It's that first wave that we'll be tracking today as it inches across Kentucky. Showers and storms will be arriving with it, especially in the prime heating hours of the day (2-7pm). The models do differ somewhat in their arrival times:

WRF - Fri 8am GFS - Fri 2pm CMC - Fri 8pm

Normally, I like the WRF for closer time frames, and the GFS at longer scales, but I think the GFS might have a better handle on this early. One thing is for sure: this system will be slowly working its way in. This brings up another issue: the possibility for flooding and flash flooding. When the time comes, I can update this a little further, but suffice it to say that for most areas the past days of drying has allowed us to get back into the 2.0 - 2.5" in 6-hours type of threashold for the triggering of flooding. The most susceptible currently is North-Central West Virginia along I-79. Here's a look at the HPC expectations for rainfall into this weekend, and the threat forecast for severe weather from HPC:

HPC - Rainfall (ending Sunday) SPC - Severe Storm Threat

Keep in mind that the rainfall totals on the left are "technically" spread out over a few days-- but any one of the storms on the right-hand map that could go severe will definitely put down a serious chunk of that quickly. The biggest threat from any particular storm will be hail, lightning, and downpours (quite normal these days). Nevertheless, if anything turns ugly (or not), y'all can track it live below, and I'll try to get in some updates.

 Update 3:30pm - Finally the rains are coming in, but it's still a little herky-jerky at first out there. Expect a downpour, even with a gust of wind as the moisture is concentrated under the storm and compresses the air out ahead of it. Widespread gusts do not seem likely until outflow boundaries can be detected on Doppler. There is a fair amount of twist with this system toward Southern Illinois (closer to the core of the low), which has been the breeding ground for tornado sightings (check the storm reports below). That kind of thing isn't coming today, but we may be watching for possible flooding and small hail if the storms can get trained over the same areas. The Charleston area got into the 80s today because of the slow arriving clouds, so we'll keep an eye on things there in case there is a little more energy to work with out that way. Take a look at the radar-estimated rainfalls out to our west (below) -- they should provide a good idea of what we're working with for rainfall when the storms finally get here.

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

 From the Storm Prediction Center (below): Click For a Larger Image

Activity Overview Storm Outlook Watches Potential Watches Storm Reports

 

Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
Click For Larger Click For Interactive Radar Click For Larger Click For Larger

Have a great day everyone!

-B

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