Welcome to your Wednesday.
As we were discussing yesterday (and already received an appetizer course), the storm system responsible for the severe weather in the Central Plains has finally moved eastward enough to give us at turn at what it has to offer us.
|HPC - Wednesday Afternoon|
Once again we'll be on our toes for any squall line that is birthed close to the front but barrels ahead on its own momentum. These will be good breeding grounds for future storm formation once conditions become ripe again. The front itself becomes our concern as well, but that is going to be more of a long-form event lasting through Thursday to convince it to come on through.
Prospects for Severe Weather
Okay, so here's what we're looking at from the Storm Prediction Center as of this writing:
|SPC - Severe Weather Threat Level - Wednesday||SPC - Severe Weather Probabilities - Wednesday|
Within the region of "slight" (typical) severe risk that accompanies this storm system, there is a heightened probability for severe weather currently located in Ohio. This, to me, is in response to an extra shot of energy rotating through there right at the prime heating ours of the day-- depicted by the winds at the lower half of the atmosphere:
|SREF - 850mb Chart - Wednesday Afternoon|
The pink indicates an area of relatively faster winds, known as a "jet streak". When viewed 3-dimensionally, this region of 50kt winds exists between about the 5,000 and 10,000 foot marks in altitude, with lesser winds below. This is called "speed shear", and can create a scenario in which a thunderstorm brings gusty winds to the surface within an otherwise calmer regime. In fact, gusty winds look to be the main severe-weather related experience to be faced if you happen to catch one of these storms. Hail will probably also be in the mix, but tornadoes do not seem very likely with this event.
|NAM - Wednesday Morning||NAM - Wednesday Afternoon||NAM - Wednesday Overnight|
So to recap: The first part of the day will be the easiest, though we'll always have to keep an eye on the fading squall lines from the night before. We'll look for an increase in showers and storms in the afternoon, with our risk for severe weather after 2pm. A mitigating factor will be any persistent cloud cover or sneaky shower that mutes/taps available storm energy before the line gets here. Conversely, any place that manages to hold onto sunshine and warm skies will be on thinner ice when the storms arrive, particularly toward Ohio.
The threat for showers continues through early Friday, but this afternoon/evening will host the lion-share of our severe weather potential. The weekend still looks like it wants to reward us with some peaceful cooler weather, but that will have to wait on the blog. I'll try to post updates today where necessary, and feel free to ask questions or offer observations in the discussion section below.
Update (7:30am) - A lot of folks have been without power since the overnight because of the storms we had late yesterday. Here's the latest power outage totals and locations (expect these numbers to fluctuate as folks come back online and potentially go off again in this afternoon's storms):
This brings up another important point: There are many folks out there who don't have access to the television to stay up to date on their news and weather. Since we're going to be visited by more storms today, mobile web apps and social media become critically important to getting out potential warning information. Feel free to download WSAZ's web apps and share our posted weather information on Twitter and Facebook platforms. My social media handles are below. On Twitter I will be blasting out all watches and warnings that get posted for the tri-state area. Please follow, fan, and share :-)
|Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking||
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|
|Click For Larger||Click For Interactive Radar||Click For Larger||Click For Larger|
Have a great day everyone!