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June 22, 2011

My Thoughts... Severe Weather Risk Today

We are under a slight risk for severe weather this afternoon and need to evaluate this risk. With the sun popping out as expected temperatures have quickly risen. That adds some more fuel for the storms and it is time to evaluate this risk.


If you missed the SPC Severe Weather risk, please view my previous blog entry here...




My Thoughts On Today's Severe Risk


We left things yesterday debating which computer model had the correct instability. The NAM kept the dewpoint at 67F or high and the GFS had a dewpoint of 63F. That led the GFS to have low instability, while the NAM had more robust instability. Let's start today by looking at the dewpoints across our area. My thoughts were the higher dewpoints were going to verify because the GFS was suffering from problems with it's physics as commonly is the case with cold fronts when there is resistance. Let's look at the numbers.


Dewpoint Temps 


Clearly the higher dewpoints are verifying, so the better instability values of the NAM are verifying near  1500 units. We know today has sufficient wind energy for storms, so all that is left is the forcing to cause lift for the storms. We said yesterday that the lift would not be superb today, but sufficient for scattered storm development. The cold front is now slipping into the northwestern part of our area and we are seeing "bubbling" cumulus clouds already. These cumulus bubbles are normally the precursor to storms.




Indeed storms are starting to fire right now near English, IN so that cumulus field should be popping.




It looks like our forecast from yesterday is right on track. The higher dewpoints will lead to sufficient instability for scattered storms to fire. Some will likely go severe with the main threat as damaging wind and hail. Although tornadoes are not the primary threat in any way, shape, or form, one cannot be ruled out with slight turning of the winds. Timing should be near 5 pm - 7 pm for Louisville, but remember we are not talking about 100% coverage. About 50% of us should see some storms tonight.


This does not look like a monster severe weather outbreak.





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