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Turbulent Friday Morning Ahead

Thursday's warm and breezy weather belies a stormy night ahead. Tony blogs up a thundery period ahead.

Spring Storm Night Ahead

Did you notice? The Dogwood trees are joining the spring floral party! That’s right; the cherry and white Dogwood petals are opening their blooms this Thursday afternoon in response to the 70 degree warmth. That my friend is as big a spring sign as there is!

But to the trained meteorological eye, something more is up. All afternoon the southerly wind has been quickening. Think of that wind as energy for future storm formation.

At the same time, a field of puffy cumulus clouds has filled the sky in response to Ol Sol’s heating. Think of those cumulus clouds as moisture needed for thunderhead development.

Now watch those clouds as they race from south to north across the sky. The fast movement tells me there is shear in the air currents aloft. Think of shear as a property that allows the air to contort its shape. Rather than moving in a straight line, a column of air when it undergoes shear can start to twist.

Add it up and we are setting up for an active early Friday morning across our region. It appears a round of strong thunderstorms with gusty winds, hail and downpours will “spin” thru near dawn on Friday.

What has caught my attention is the insistence of our supercomputers to take the center of a Gulf States low pressure thru Central Kentucky predawn and Central Ohio at sunrise Friday.

A track like that can produce a round of high wind storms and in its most bizarre behavior a few twisters somewhere close by to our region.

Now let me state I am not smart enough to forecast a tornado that far in advance!

What I am saying is that atmospheric conditions will be favorable for high wind storms especially in Ohio and Kentucky late tonight and early Friday morning. So expect a loud wake up call sometime between say 4 and 8 AM.

For this evening, little league practices should be fine with a warm wind and nothing more than a passing shower. The Dogwood petals too will enjoy those tepid breezes. But Dogwood and you beware late tonight if storms rumble in from the south!

For more on severe weather, check out the blogs of Chris (current situation and maps) and Josh (Tornado Outbreak from 1974).
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