I think we’re finally honing in on an ETA for the upcoming storms…
Question is, how strong will they be when they get here? Let’s take a look at some data from the SREF – Short Range Ensemble Forecast model:
500 j/kg worth of CAPE is usually enough to support winter-time severe weather events, but given that spring-time atmospheric machinations are more robust, more instability is needed to sustain severity.
Dew points are progged to be between 55-60F. That’s some relatively moist air that these storms are going to run into. Typically, the higher the dew point, the “richer” the storm fuel. Think about it in terms of gasoline octane: 60F dew points are equivalent to 87 octane; 70F dew points are equivalent to 89 octane; and 80F dew points are equivalent to 93 octane. Bottom line, the air should be moist enough to sustain storm severity.
An integral component of any storm system and it’s severity is the low level jet. Seen on the above map, there appears to be an area of 40kt winds streaming into the storm system upon arrival. This, coupled with the upper level jet, should help to maintain storm severity.
This is a rather complicated storm system and trying to determine an accurate forecast has been akin to herding cats…it sounds easy in theory, but is rather difficult to put in practice.
What do I expect? I expect a squall line roll through the area around lunch time, bringing with it heavy rain, thunder, and possibly a few tornado warnings, given the adequate amount of atmospheric shear. Where those tornado warnings show up, though, is a whole ‘nother ball game and I forgot to bring my glove.