A portion of our area is now under the "enhanced risk" for severe weather from SPC. This is one level up from the slight risk. It basically means there is a better chance to see severe weather in more areas in the striped zone than the yellow. Although, very little has changed in the data in the past day. In my opinion, SPC probably was always thinking to put this area under the enhanced risk and since not much has changed, decided to pull the trigger.
The main threats remain to damaging straight line winds greater than 60 mph. We could also see large hail, heavy rain at times (not enough to make flooding a major concern though, because the storms will be moving through the area pretty quickly), frequent lightning and we can't rule out the potential for a few rotating storms as well. However, I do believe the better potential for tornadoes is going to be in NE IN and NW OH where there are backing winds.
We are in the midst of the warm sector now. Temperatures are going to surge tomorrow. If we hit 79 degrees it will be an all time February high. The dew points are also increasing and already are in the upper 50s and low 60s. We need heat and high moisture in order to have instability. Higher instability means stronger storms. The Convective Available Potential Energy or CAPE for tomorrows storms looks pretty good for strong to severe storm development at around 800-1200 J/kg.
Although the models have backed off just a bit with the wind energy aloft (instead of 50-60 kts mid level winds they are around 40-50 kts) there is still enough to produce strong to severe storms. Notice the strongest winds aloft are to our NW.
I also think the timing has slowed down a bit. This could limit our severe threat just a tad as well. I originally thought storms would fire off around 5, latest guidance is pushing it back to around 7. It may change again, because that's a pretty small window of time. My suggestion, one day out, is to be weather aware from 5 pm on.
The line of storms then slide east through the viewing area.
And continue through the evening and Friday night.
And finally exiting the area around 12-1 am.
These storms are developing ahead and along a cold front. There will be about a 40 degree drop in the temperatures by Saturday. Back to February we go!
Marc and Rick will be discussing the severe threat as well this evening on WDRB News. Be sure to keep up with the latest information over the next day! Stay safe!
The links to my social media pages are below. If and when storms become severe, this is where a lot of information will be posted tomorrow evening.