10/16/2017

OPHELIA HITS IRELAND: Video Of Roof Getting Ripped Off School...

Hurricane Ophelia weakened and devolved into a post-tropical cyclone on the evening of October 15, 2017. However, the storm maintained enough strength to deliver destructive winds and rain to Ireland and the United Kingdom the next day. In fact, Ophelia ripped the roof off Douglas community school gym in Cork, Ireland...

Video Credit: The Weather Network

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of Ophelia at 12:55 p.m. local time (11:55 Universal Time) on October 16, 2017...

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Image Credit: NASA

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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10/15/2017

A Rarity; The 10th Consecutive Hurricane, Ophelia, Heads Toward Ireland

Hurricane Ophelia is the 10th consecutive tropical storm to become a hurricane in the Atlantic season. This has not happened since 1893. This is because of slightly warmer ocean waters and weak upper level winds, known as wind shear. Both help with the development of hurricanes.

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What is also interesting about Ophelia is the track. The US National Hurricane Center says it will make its way NE toward Ireland. This is not unheard of, but a rarity. The last time this happened was 56 years ago, in 1961, with hurricane Debbie. It is currently a category 3 hurricane with gusts of 125 mph and is moving at 35 mph. 

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It is expected to make landfall early next week as a post tropical cyclone. 

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Additionally, the 2017 hurricane season has been busy -- there were two Category 5 storms: Irma and Maria. There were two others, Harvey and Jose, that reached Category 4 strength. On Saturday, Ophelia strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane off the Azores islands, making it the sixth major hurricane of the Atlantic season.

You probably have notice this year has been an ACTIVE hurricane season with back-to-back strong storms and multiple landfalls. Many are wondering: Why is this happening? Well, let's dive into the science behind this year’s hurricane season with NOAA's lead hurricane season forecaster, Dr. Gerry Bell. 

Q: Is this a typical hurricane season?

A: We’ve had 14 extremely active seasons since 1950, and this is the first since 2010. An average season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Q: What climate patterns stoke and fuel hurricanes?

A: Three main climate patterns influence hurricane development:

  • The Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, or AMO, is a climate pattern over the Atlantic Ocean that lasts for decades at a time. When the AMO is in the warm phase, like it has been since 1995, we are predisposed for more active seasons.

  • El Nino and La Nina are season-to-season climate patterns marked by sea surface temperature fluctuations in the tropical Pacific Ocean. El Nino tends to suppress Atlantic hurricanes while La Nina fuels them.

  • And finally, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, or the MJO, is a rainfall pattern that propagates around the world. This pattern lasts 30-60 days and produces within-season variability in hurricane activity.

Q: What conditions are present this year to promote such a strong hurricane season?

A: The AMO is causing a set of interrelated conditions that work together to help hurricanes develop, grow and persist. These conditions are typical of other extremely active seasons that we have seen in the past.

  • The Atlantic Ocean is 1-2 degrees F above average;

  • The West African monsoon is stronger, which allows wind patterns coming offAfrica to more easily spin up storms;

  • An extensive area of weak wind shear across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea, and weaker than average trade winds across tropical Atlantic, areallowing storms to persist and gain strength; and

  • More moisture and atmospheric instability in the tropical region where storms form allow them to grow larger and stronger.

Q: How unusual is it to see such a fast succession of powerful storms in one season, like we saw with Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, and Maria?

A: It’s not unprecedented during an extremely active season to see a succession of major storms, with more storms tracking further westward and threatening land.

Q: What’s driving so many storms to make landfall this year?

A: The same wind patterns that produce strong storms also steer them farther westward. We’ve also had a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere over the western Atlantic causing extremely weak wind shear, which is why so many major hurricanes lasted for so long.

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10/14/2017

Sunday Storms: Impacts & Timing

Severe Risk:

There is only a general thunderstorm risk posted by The Storm Prediction Center on Sunday.  A small chance of thunderstorms will accompany a cold front and its passage late tonight. Heavy rain and lightning will be the primary storm hazards, should one occur.

Severe threat

Set up:

On Sunday, there is a surface low over the Great Lakes, coupled with a cold front. The front will slide through our area on tomorrow and bring the return of showers by Sunday morning. They will be scattered showers with only an isolated storm chance. Basically, there is a potential for a few rumbles of thunder and some lightning along with gusty winds. 

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Instability: 

Instability continues to look very limited on Sunday morning. This in turn will limit the storm possibility and the severe threat. 

Meteorologists often refer to "weak instability" (CAPE less than 1000 Jkg-1), "moderate instability" (CAPE from 1000-2500 Jkg-1), "strong instability" (CAPE from 2500-4000 Jkg-1), and "extreme instability" (CAPE greater than 4000 Jkg-1).

At this time, (Saturday afternoon) models are showing Sunday's CAPE ranges from 0 J/Kg to over 300  Jkg-1 in our viewing area. This has not changed since yesterday. That puts us in the "weak instability" to  range.  That is not enough for strong to severe storms to develop. Only isolated storms.   

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Wind Shear: 

As a rule, we look for at least 35 kt winds aloft as a severe weather criteria. Check out these 850 mb winds Sunday morning! Over 60 mph in southern Indiana! This will make Sunday rather windy. Expect southwest sustained winds around 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Winds will be the fastest with the passage of the front. They could gust up to 30 mph. Winds aloft will be even faster. So we can't rule out a gusty shower or brief thunderstorm with stronger winds. However, the strong to severe threat looks very low. 

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TIMING

High pressure will be in control through the end of today, keeping half our weekend dry, sunny and warm. Today will be well above average, with temps in the mid 80s.

By Sunday morning, a line of storms will be making their way toward our region. Models are showing the line holding together better through our region in comparison to what they showed yesterday. 

Rain will begin around sunrise and move from our western counties to the east. Scroll through the images of Advancetrak to get an idea of coverage and timing. 

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Of course, with the Ironman going on during this time, there will be a lot of people wondering how the weather will effect it. Right now, I believe the athletes and spectators will have to just dodge a few scattered showers and maybe an isolated storm. But it does not look like it will be a widespread rain event. Just have the umbrella handy! 

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Showers and a few isolated storms will continue through the beginning and middle of the afternoon...

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Notice how the leading edge strengthens outside of our viewing area thanks to peak heating. 

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Showers taper off by the early evening.  

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Rain Totals: 

There will not be a lot of rain fall. Models are only showing a tenth or 2/10 of an inch across the entire region. That is pretty light rain. Although it doesn't look like we will have an overwhelming amount of rain on Sunday, we will certainly notice residual impacts from the front. It will turn SHARPLY cooler by Monday. Check out these low temps! They will be in the low 40s downtown, so the burbs will be even cooler! 

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Be sure to keep up with the forecast, Jeremy and I will be covering the latest data and timing of this system all weekend. I'll see you tomorrow morning from 6-9 am! Until then, let's connect on social media! The links to my page are below! 

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10/13/2017

Weekend Storms: Impacts & Severe Potential

Severe Risk:

There is only a general thunderstorm risk posted by The Storm Prediction Center on Sunday. General or non-severe thunderstorms is defined by SPC as "Delineates, to the right of a line, where a 10% or greater probability of thunderstorms is forecast during the valid period." 

Gusty winds are possible with the passage of a cold front Sunday morning and afternoon with a few isolated storms. Notice the greater chance for storms is in eastern KY. That is due to the current trends and timing of the passage of the front. 

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Set up:

There is a strong upper level low and associated strong surface cold front that will swing through the area on Sunday to Sunday night. It will bring scattered showers, a few storms and a HUGE drop in temperatures. 

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Ingredients:

Instability: Earlier this week, the severe threat looked more impressive. Since then, the timing of the front has sped up. Therefore, instability will be limited on Sunday morning and by extension, the severe threat. 

Meteorologists often refer to "weak instability" (CAPE less than 1000 Jkg-1), "moderate instability" (CAPE from 1000-2500 Jkg-1), "strong instability" (CAPE from 2500-4000 Jkg-1), and "extreme instability" (CAPE greater than 4000 Jkg-1).

At this time, (Friday afternoon) models are showing Sunday's CAPE ranges from 20J/Kg to over 300  Jkg-1 in our viewing area. That puts us in the "weak instability" to  range.  That is not enough for strong to severe storms to develop. Only isolated storms.   

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Wind Shear: 

The ingredient that is more impressive is the wind energy. As a rule, we look for at least 35 kt winds aloft as a severe weather criteria.

Check out these 850 mb winds Sunday morning! Nearly 60 mph! This will make Sunday rather windy. Expect southwest sustained winds around 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Winds will be the fastest with the passage of the front. 

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TIMING

High pressure will be in control through Saturday, keeping half our weekend dry, sunny and warm. By Sunday morning, a line of storms will be making their way toward our region. However, these storms look to diminish overnight and then redevelop later Sunday afternoon, in eastern KY as the front pushes through the region. The coverage of storms looks less than yesterday and there is certainly not a guarantee everyone will get rain on Sunday.

Scroll through the images of Advancetrak to get an idea of the timing and coverage. 

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Of course, with the Ironman going on during this time, there will be a lot of people wondering how the weather will effect it. Right now, I believe the athletes and spectators will have to just dodge a few scattered showers and maybe an isolated storm. But it does not look like it will be a widespread rain event.  The data just continues to pull back on how much moisture we will see in our area. 
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Notice how the line reforms outside of our viewing area thanks to peak heating. 

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Rain Totals: 

To put it in perspective, how widely scattered the showers will be, look at the expected rainfall totals. This is raw model data for the GFS and Euro. They are showing only a tenth or 2/10 of an inch across the entire region. That is pretty light rain. 

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Although it doesn't look like we will have an overwhelming amount of rain on Sunday, we will certainly notice residual impacts from the front. It will turn SHARPLY cooler by Monday. Check out these low temps! 

Hello Fall!

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We are still a few days out from the arrival of this front and things could change. Be sure to keep up with the forecast. Join Rick this evening on WDRB News to hear his thoughts on the system and timing. Jeremy and I will be covering the latest data this weekend. I'll see you tomorrow morning from 6-9 am! Until then, let's connect on social media! The links to my page are below! 

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-Katie McGraw 

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10/12/2017

Chilling Drone Video Shows Destruction to One California Neighborhood

Wildfires continue to cause widespread destruction in the Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley areas of California. At least 23 have been killed and hundreds are missing as the flames continue to persist under hot and dry conditions. High winds, and lack of water in the area continue to hamper firefighter efforts in fighting these fires.  Thousands of structures have been burned and stark landscapes show acres of standing fireplaces as the only structures that survived the fires that spread through neighborhoods.  New evacuations have been called for as the fires continue to ravage this area of California.

Douglas Thron filmed this chilling drone video, hours after the fires in Santa Rosa, California. Notice the U.S. postal worker still delivering the mail to rubble, that used to be used to be family's homes. 

Video credit: Douglas Thron

The Southern LNU Complex of fires includes the Partrick Fire, the Atlas Fire and the Nuns Fire. 

The Partrick fire is located west of Napa, California and is 6,000 acres in size with only 1% of the fire contained.  The cause of the Partrick fire is under investigation.  The Nuns Fire is 5,000 acres in size.  This fire is also 1% contained as of October 11th.  The Atlas Fire is 26,000 acres and is 3% contained. 

Five thousand structures are threatened by this complex of fires and dozens of evacuations have been instituted.  All three fires experienced fire growth as a result of anticipated wind conditions. Forecasts include a change in wind speed and direction in the days to come. The forecast for Santa Rosa on Oct. 11 calls for sunshine and areas of smoke with northwest winds 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Winds are expected to gust as high as 21 mph at night, and become light and variable on Thursday, Oct. 12.  A Red Flag Warning continues to exist over the fire area. 

The Tubbs fire is located near Calistoga and this fire is 28,000 acres in size.  This fire is threatening over 16,000 structures with 571 structures already destroyed by the fire.  

The Redwood Complex is comprised of the Redwood Fire and the Potter fire.  Within the Redwood Complex 29,500 acres have burned and the complex is 5% contained.  There have been 3 fatalities and approximately 7000 people evacuated throughout the incident.  The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.

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NASA's Terra satellite collected this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on October 10, 2017. Actively burning areas (hot spots), detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. Each hot spot is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire. 

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NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner with information from CA Fire website.
 

10/11/2017

BIG DROP! When To Expect Temps In The 30's...

A strong front will move through over the weekend bringing a big drop in the temperature department. Behind that front, high pressure will slide our way providing us with clear skies and light winds by Tuesday morning...

Gfs

With much colder air aloft and these ideal radiational cooling conditions, temperatures will drop like a rock. It's not cold enough for frost, but the GFS is showing numbers in the low 40's... 

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Low-lying, sheltered locations will probably tumble into the 30's! Even if a very light wind blows in spots it could make it feel a touch colder as shown by the GFS wind chill outlook below...

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Time to dust off those heavy jackets! Marc and I will be on WDRB tonight discussing which days you need to dress for highs in the 80's, plus timing out weekend rain chances. 

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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10/10/2017

SPOOKY SKY At California's Disneyland...

An orange, spooky sky appeared over Disneyland Anaheim as the Canyon Fire 2 burned in California. Smoke particles act as a filter for sunlight by scattering shorter wavelengths such as blue and leaving longer wavelengths of the light spectrum behind. This allows more orange and red colors to pass through. It's crazy to see some of these famous landmarks with such an eerie backdrop! Disneyland’s social media channels and website indicated, however, that there were no changes to the operation of the park and all of the amusements remained open.

Video Credit: TIME

Parts of northern California have been ravaged by intense and fast-burning wildfires that broke out on October 8, 2017. Blazes that started on a few hundred acres around Napa Valley were fanned by strong northeasterly winds, and by October 10, the 14 fires had consumed as much as 100,000 acres (150 square miles) of land. States of emergency have been declared in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, and Mendocino counties, and thousands of people were asked to evacuate. The densely populated “wine country” is famous for its vineyards and wine-making operations and the tourists they attract.


In the late morning of October 9, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-color image (top) of the smoke billowing from the fires. About two hours later, the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the second view.

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Video Credit: NASA

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Video Credit: NASA


CalFire and local officials reported that at least 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and thousands more are being threatened. In some places, entire neighborhoods burned to the ground. Cellular and land-line phone communications have been lost in several areas. Authorities are still accounting for deaths and people reported missing. As of the morning of October 10, none of the fires were even partially contained, according to CalFire bulletins.


While the causes of the fires are still under investigation, we do know what helped them spread quickly: abundant dried vegetation and seasonal wind patterns.

“After more than a decade of drought, the fuel levels—dry brush and grasses—across California are exceptionally high,” said William Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Last winter’s welcome rains created more vegetation that, over the past six months, created more fuel.”

The fall season also typically brings hot, dry, and gusty winds. These Diablo winds are driven by atmospheric high-pressure systems over the Great Basin (mostly in Nevada). Winds blow from northeast to southwest over California’s mountain ranges and down through the valleys and coastal regions. These downslope winds can quickly whip up a fire and carry burning embers to the next neighborhood or patch of woodland.

“The simple formula is fuel-plus-meteorology-plus-ignition equals fire. The catalyst is people,” Patzert added. “The fires erupted in areas where wildlands meet urban and suburban development. Californians have built in what are historical fire corridors, and these high-density developments are particularly vulnerable to fast-moving, destructive fires.”

Though it is not visible in this imagery, wildfires also broke out on October 9 in Southern California’s Orange County. That fire was fanned by strong gusts of Santa Ana winds.

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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10/09/2017

POLICE DASH CAM VIDEO: Possible Tornado In North Carolina...

Tornado warnings were issued for in North and South Carolina on Sunday, October 8, as the remnants of Hurricane Nate pushed northeast. This footage was captured by the dash cam of a Caldwell County Sheriff that shows a possible tornado in Lenoir, North Carolina...

Video Credit: The Fayetteville Observer

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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10/08/2017

Waves of Heavy Rain from Nate's Remnants

A cold front pushed through the area yesterday, but stalled in the southern portion of our area overnight and caused some areas to see repeated rounds of rain. From Grayson County to Washington County, many saw around 3-5'' of rain. The front then got lifted north by the leading edge of tropical moisture from Tropical Depression Nate. Nate will be moving NNE toward the Ohio River Valley, around 20-25 mph, during the rest of the day and pass just SE of our viewing area. The center of circulation will pass over SE KY. 

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We will see widespread rain for the rest of the morning and the first half of the afternoon. Areas that see repeated rounds of heavy rain, especially in the areas that already saw the heaviest rain this morning, could experience flooding. Rain will continue all day, but there be more dry time later. Scroll through the images of Advancetrak to get an idea of what to expect for the rest of today. 

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As mentioned above, while today will be soggy, there will also be dry times as well. When it is not raining, it will be cloudy and cooler. 

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Scattered showers will continue through this evening, tonight and overnight. 
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Rain will begin to taper off by Monday morning. A few light showers and sprinkles will join us for the start of the work week. The rest of the day will be cloudy. 

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How much more rain to expect?

Roughly another inch or two for southern Indiana.  Another 2'' and locally 3'' south of the river in Kentucky.

The raw model data for the Euro, GFS and NAM are below. The NWS is monitoring conditions and will issue further flood advisories as needed. 
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There are more showers and storms expected on Tuesday. Be sure to join us this evening on WDRB and tomorrow morning from 5-9 am, to find out how the timing of the rain and when we will swap the rain for sun. 

Let's connect. The links to my social media pages are below. 

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-Katie McGraw 

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10/07/2017

Storms Return: Some Strong to Severe

Severe Risk:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued an "Marginal Risk" for severe weather for all of our area on Saturday. A marginal risk is defined by SPC as an area of severe storms of either limited organization and longevity, or very low coverage and marginal intensity.

The main threats will be damaging gusty winds, localized heavy rain and isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. 

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Set up:

A surface low will cross the plains with a warm front draped across the the Great Lakes region into the northeastern US. With a cold front out to the west. The low pressure over the central Plains will lift northeastward and weaken as the day progresses, said cold front will move toward our area. We will be in the warm sector the first half of the day. Therefore, you will notice a surge in the humidity throughout the day. 

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Ingredients:

Instability: Heat and moisture (or dew points) both are fuel for storms. The increase of each, will in turn, increase our instability.

As previously mentioned, our dew points will SURGE. This will make it feel more muggy across Kentuckiana. Once the dew point hits 60 degrees, you start to notice the humidity. By the afternoon, it will be very noticeable. The dew point will be in the upper 60s. On our muggy meter, we call that "steamy" and close to "miserable". It will be one of those "air that you wear" days. 

It has also been unseasonably warm for the beginning of October. Temps will once again be in the mid 80s. 

We know that an increase in heat AND moisture both increase instability and instability is key to severe weather development. Models are showing modest instability around 1000 J/kg  of CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, a measurement of instability, for today.

Meteorologists often refer to "weak instability" (CAPE less than 1000 Jkg-1), "moderate instability" (CAPE from 1000-2500 Jkg-1), "strong instability" (CAPE from 2500-4000 Jkg-1), and "extreme instability" (CAPE greater than 4000 Jkg-1). Our CAPE by late today ranges from 400 Jkg-1  to over 1000 Jkg-1 in our southern counties. That puts us in the "weak instability" to "moderate instability" range.  That is just enough for strong to severe storms to develop but not overwhelming and will be dropping significantly with time.  

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The ingredient that is more impressive is the wind energy. As a rule, we look for at least 35 kt winds aloft as a severe weather criteria.

Check out these 850 mb winds at 9 pm! Nearly 60 mph! Certainly enough for strong to severe storms to develop. 

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Even after the instability drops, the wind energy is still present. Around 30-40 mph overnight. 

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We will be dry until mid afternoon. Showers and storms will begin to fire off after 3 pm. They will be widely scattered to start.

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They will become more numerous with time and cover more of the viewing area. 

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By tonight, they will be very likely. 

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They will continue overnight as the front stalls in the SE part of our viewing area. 

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The moisture from the remnants of Nate will meet up the front and Sunday will be a soggy day with waves of potentially heavy rain. 
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My thoughts? 

Strong to severe storms are certainly possible with the ingredients we have available. It will not be an outbreak, but a few are certainly possible. 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!

Tomorrow is also going to be an active weather day thanks to Nate. Be sure to join us this evening on WDRB and tomorrow morning from 6-9 pm, to find out how much rain to expect. 

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