The storm’s are a’comin’….but when?

The Storm Prediction Center has seen fit to include our area in both their Day 2 and Day 3 SLIGHT risk areas.  This isn’t because we expect two days of severe weather, but because the impending arrival of our storms will straddle two days (Wednesday-Thursday).  Here are the graphics:

Day 2 graphic:

day2otlk_0600

Day 3 graphic:

day3otlk_0730

We’re still expecting a QLCS – weather speak for squall line with damaging winds and some hail.  Tornadoes are a possibility, as well, due to the amount of shear in the atmosphere.

Timing issues continue to confound the weather gurus behind the curtain at the NWS.  One model. the Global Forecast System (GFS) paints an afternoon arrival, the North American Mesoscale (NAM) shows a mid-morning arrival, and the European model (Euro or ECMWF) shows an afternoon arrival.  See the images below:

GFS – 1:00 pm

GFS_3_2013040906_F60_TMPF_2_M_ABOVE_GROUND

NAM – 10:00 am

NAM_221_2013040906_F57_TMPF_2_M_ABOVE_GROUND

Euro – 4pm

euro

System ETA is all over the board and the severity of the system is highly dependent upon the atmospheric parameters it runs into.  As with virtually any severe weather episode we see, small-scale features that the models can’t pick up on yet will ultimately make or break it.  If for any reason the weather models are underestimating instability values, wind shear values, atmospheric moisture content, etc., the impact of the event could be enhanced.  We should know what kind of atmosphere we’re going to have to work with after the NWS weather balloon launches tomorrow, and this should help to nail down an arrival time.

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