Great Caesar's Ghost, Hail will Fall on Thursday!

“Hail” Caesar on Thursday

The ancient Romans paid homage to the great Emperor Julius Caesar in the years around 65 BC. Born 100 years before Jesus Christ, Caesar’s most noteworthy war victory came with the conquest of Gaul. I use this historical note as a jumping board to my forecast of Hail showers on Thursday. After all, who better to Hail on a day when I predict ice cubes to fall from the sky? Here’s a look at the meteorological medley I am forecasting.

First, we start off with the notion that Wednesday’s rains (general .33 to 1”) while welcomed were just a good start for what is shaping up to be a very parched May. See my Monday blog for details on what a dry May means for the summer.

As skies clear out tonight, a late season chill will invade the region. Not quite a frost producer, tonight’s chill will settle into the 40s area-wide with a few 30s likely in mountainous locations. Fog not frost may form especially from Charleston east where the heavier rains fell on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the next weather system is quickly racing southeastward toward us from Wisconsin. Folks from Milwaukee and Green Bay to Chicago are sensing football weather this Wednesday evening as a chilly Lake Michigan wind and cold showers of rain and even hail are falling from brief thunderstorms. I wonder if Brett Farve was at Lambeau today for Packer mini-camp?

That same pocket of energy will motor southward while we sleep and appear invisibly in our heavens on Thursday. So watch for the sun to be out in the morning as temperatures warm into the 60 range by noon. By that time folks will be planning a brown bag lunch at City Park in Gallipolis, at the Judd Plaza in Ashland and at Roadside Park in St, Albans. But that’s where the trouble begins.

As that pocket of cold air parks itself overhead, I see the 5,000 foot temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and zero degrees at the 20,000 feet level. That difference in temperature from the ground to the heavens above is known as a lapse rate. Now the steeper the temperature decline with altitude, the better risk of afternoon showers. Given how cold it will be upstairs on Thursday, it seems a good bet that when showers form in the early afternoon, they will fall first as rain. Then when a few rumbles of thunder join in the fun, the colder air high up will produce a shower of ice cubes, well crushed ice as in pea sized hail.

So if I can quote old Perry White from the Superman series, “Great Caesar’s Ghost”, some Hail will fall from the sky on Thursday!

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