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05/17/2017

Storms Return to Kentuckiana: Severe Potential

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a "Marginal Risk" for severe weather for tomorrow for our northern counties in southern Indiana. This is the second lowest of six categories and is defined as an area of severe storms of limited organization and longevity, or very low coverage and intensity.  The main threats to be aware of will be gusty wind, small hail and heavy rain. 

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Low pressure is deepening in the plains and will move toward the Ohio River Valley and eventually drag a cold front through the area. The front will drop our temperatures back down to seasonable/seventies after the weekend. But before that, the front will stall and keep showers/storms in the forecast for the next few days. 

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 Ingredients:

We will continue to be warm over the next few days and we are increasing the dew points, which will in turn make it feel more muggy across Kentuckiana. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. By the end of the week and into the weekend, it will be even more noticeable. On our muggy meter, we call that "steamy"

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Instability: 

Heat and moisture (or dew points) both are fuel for storms and the increase of each will in turn increase our instability. For tomorrow, models are showing CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, around 2000-2500 J/kg. Which is a lot of CAPE and certainly enough for strong to severe storms to develop. 

Also in the image below are wind barbs, showing bulk shear. Tomorrow's wind energy is not overly impressive, it is around 25-30 kts. This is enough for a rogue severe storm, but not a wide spread event. 

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 Timing: 

I'm sure you have notice the increase of clouds today. It will be mostly cloudy the rest of today and into tonight. We could see a shower overnight. 

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Majority of the shower and storm activity tomorrow will be positioned north and along the river. Not everyone will be seeing showers and storms on Thursday, but those that do could see heavy rain, gusty winds, and small hail. There will be a chance for rain an storms early on Thursday and then again late afternoon and evening. 

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SPC has also issued a "Marginal Risk" for severe weather for Friday. Notice the position is very different from Thursday's severe risk. I do think it is likely that SPC will up the risk eventually to a "Slight Risk". While the position is different, the main threats are the same. Be aware of isolated damaging winds, hail producing storms and heavy rain.

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Ingredients: 

Models are showing CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, around 2500-3000 J/kg, for . Which again is a lot of CAPE and certainly enough for strong to severe storms to develop. 

The difference between Thursday and Friday is the bulk shear or wind energy increases. This time there is sufficient wind energy for the development of strong or severe storms, but they will still be isolated. 

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Showers and storms will be more numerous on Friday. They will become isolated to start and eventually more scattered by the afternoon. Scroll through the images below to get an idea of coverage. But as always, don't take them to the bank! They are just a gauge. 

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Storms will be continuing into this weekend. To learn about the timing and impacts, be sure to join Marc and Rick this evening on WDRB News and Jude bright and early tomorrow morning.  If and when storm become severe, we will be keeping you informed in a variety of ways. One of those is on social media. The links to my pages are below! 

Katie McGraw's Facebook Page

Katie McGraw's Twitter Page

-Katie McGraw 

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