Update - We are in the (storm) zone ... and we'll be there most of the week

The Ohio valley is the target this week for roving bands of showers and storms just about all week long, and when not in the sights we'll be seeing unseasonably mild temperatures-- which can also set off a few storms.

Updates below (most recent - 4:00pm)

Welcome to your Tuesday, and the first day of May. :-)

It looks like we're destined to start off the month on a turbulent note, and keep the instability going for a while. The storms of the overnight are the first salvo, so we'll be tracking it right into the morning light. Here's a good ball-park idea of the kind of moisture we'll be seeing from them (since spot flooding is usually the biggest widespread threat we face from storms):

HAS Precipitation Forecast HPC Precipitation Forecast

Let's just put those downpours at "Healthy" until things quiet down later on and we can come up for air. The good news is that we'll still have several hours of the next several days as dry (well, "not raining") but expect wet grass and a lot of garden/lawn growing.

Here's what's going on...

HPC - Surface Map - Tuesday PM

We continue to see several "ripples" or "waves" that are moving along a more-or-less consistent 'zone' of convection that is pretty insistent on remaining in the Ohio Valley. Each time one arrives, we'll be under threat for the thunderstorm, but when they leave we'll see those humid sticky mid-80s filter in (which ironically will only destabilize the atmosphere further and pop some more isolated storms). For now, it looks like a pretty good conga-line is forming, but there will be opportunities to get outside none-the-less. You should know the drill in these situations. We'll call them "one-hour-power-showers" interspersed with the hazy warmth and humidity. Here's an indication of what we'll be looking at for total rainfall by the end of the week:

5 - Day Rainfall Forecast

Now, I think this might be a little on the low-side for a 5-day total, because any one thunderstorm has the ability to put down an inch of rain as we all know. It would be a good thing though if the zone of the training showers were actually focused somewhere else, and instead we'd just get enough for the flowers. If this does happen, this opens up the opportunity for more warmth to enter the picture. Today should be a little cooler than yesterday because of the rain, but any extra sunshine that slips in may amp up the afternoon highs you see indicated on the 7-day graphic below.

Once again, all the constantly-updating tracking maps are below. There may be updates as needed as we go. Always feel free to check back, say "hi", offer a suggestion... whatever you like :-) This is all for your benefit. Thank you for stopping by.

Update 10:00am - The Storm Prediction Center once again has us under a "Slight Risk" for severe weather today. Here's the breakdown:

SPC - Hail Threat SPC - Wind Threat SPC - Tornado Threat

 First and foremost, as usual, flooding and hail will be the main threats with this system today (mainly later in the day as things take time to bubble up). However, notice the tornado threat has upped to a non-minimal 5% for portions of eastern Kentucky. This is presumably in response to a few tornado warnings (as of yet unknown if they amounted to anything) issued yesterday evening out of our area to the west. We have a line of strong wind gusts near Yeager Airport in Charleston last night as well (60mph). We may end up on our toes today, but I did want to stress that the flooding made possible by prolonged downpours is the chief concern. Even out ahead of these anticipated showers later in the day, we're dealing with some strong showers down near Corridor G in southern KY/WV. Lord knows they don't need any more rain down there. That impulse of moisture is headed just north of east.

Update 4:00pm - Now things are getting interesting again. The National Weather Service has our western areas in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, but now also a Tornado Watch has been issued along-side it for the counties along and north of the Ohio River. There is a modest about of wind shear expected to be in town:

NAM - Shear 0-6km - Tuesday 8pm

40kts is sort-of the ground level for concern about tornado formation (when the wind changes with height it creates the shear-- spin and twisting, the higher the number the bigger it's likely to become a problem). Typically the 50-60kt range is more alarming about tornado potential. Plus, this peaks at around 8pm and lessens after that. I suspect the actual threat for tornadoes, isolated as it may be, will still be to our west, and then dwindling as the storms roll eastward. But as is the case, there will be plenty of coverage during the news tonight just in case. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @WSAZBrandon ... I bet alerts may go out fast and furious for a time considering the three different NWS branches that cover our tri-state region, so bear with me as we try to get any messages out to any folks that may be following us.

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!


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