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05/18/2017

A Steamy & Stormy Finish to the Week! Update on Severe Risk...

It's setting up to be a steamy and at times stormy finish to the week.  

While parts of the Central and Southern Plains are getting blasted by an outbreak of severe weather this evening, a slow moving frontal boundary will serve as the focus for showers and storms across much of the East-Central US over the next couple of days.  Meanwhile, heavy snow is falling over portions of the Central Rockies where locally more than a foot is expected in the upper elevations of Colorado and Wyoming!

Sfc front

 A large area of moderate to high instability is in place ahead of a slow moving upper storm system.  This instability is largely a result of high humidity and also some very warm surface temps. 

Cape

While CAPE (convective available potential energy) values remain maximized over the Southern Plains, there will be plenty of fuel here locally too, on the order of 2 - 3000 units (j/kg) as we head into your Friday and Saturday.

Mid wind

While this will provide plenty of fuel for storms, the main upper level energy remains to our west limiting the severe threat in our area.  

TONIGHT

The current forecast by the Storm Prediction Center highlights a rare High Risk zone across parts of SW Kansas and NW Oklahoma where several confirmed tornadoes have already occurred.  

Day1otlk_1630

 The storm threat locally will be on the low side with only a "marginal risk" posted for our area through tonight.  

However, with the loss of heating, the threat looks to diminish by late evening with no more than a few renegade showers overnight.

At1

TOMORROW

For tomorrow, SPC has issued a rather large "enhanced risk" across parts of the Southern Plains and a Slight Risk is in place for areas just to our west. 

Day2otlk_1730

 This Slight Risk area could be expanded east to include portions of Kentuckiana if we get enough heating.  

The current run of advanceTrak shows the development of scattered storms during the late afternoon/evening hours. 

At3

These storms could produce some gusty winds and perhaps small hail.  

SATURDAY

Looking into Saturday, SPC keeps us in a Marginal Risk.  However, like tomorrow this will be largely dependent on the finer details of our atmosphere at the time.

Day3otlk_0730

Current thinking is that the best bet for storms will be late in the day.  Unlike what AT shows below, most models point to an evening/overnight event Saturday night where some strong storms will be possible. 

At4

What do I think?

Overall, this will not be an impressive severe weather set up locally.  However, if we get enough heating tomorrow and/or if storms can organize and make a run at us from the west on Saturday, we will see a chance for strong storms a few of which could reach severe limits with damaging winds the main threat.  

The chance for showers and storms will linger into Sunday before drier weather finally arrives late in the day.

Marc and Rick will have a full update on WDRB News this evening. 

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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