Severe Threat Potential Looms on Friday

Good afternoon, the latest update from the Storm Prediction Center is in and instead of doing the afternoon update, I’m going to combine it all in one large blog post, this may be a bit on the long side, so bear with me.  We are going to break down some of the larger cities that’s under each of the categorical risk.  The entire state is under the gun for severe storms on Friday, so everyone need to be weather aware tomorrow.  The following cities/locales are under the enhanced risk…Evansville, Jasper, Bedford, Madison.  The following cites are under the slight risk, Indianapolis, Anderson, Muncie, Bloomington, Terre Haute, Richmond.  Finally, these cities are under a marginal risk, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Lafayette, Gary.  Now overall for the state, an enhanced risk of severe storms is possible for southwest and south-central Indiana, with a marginal risk for central Indiana, and a marginal risk for northern Indiana.  Slide15

***Potentially a significant severe weather event is possible, especially in the enhanced risk area***  Showers and thunderstorms will be ongoing Friday morning and we won’t how the morning storms will play in the afternoon/evening severe weather, but right now, conditions are in place for a rather active afternoon/evening.  A new round of showers and thunderstorms look to develop during the afternoon hours and move southeast.  Initial storms may be supercellular in nature and could produce very large hail (up to and possibly slightly over 2 inches in diameter), damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes, before storms congeal into line and bowing segments, when damaging winds will become the primary threat, but large hail, and isolated tornadoes will also be possible.  The severe threat may wind down by the early to mid evening hours, but chances of showers and thunderstorms will remain in the overnight hours.  Following graphics is what the FutureCast radar predicts from 1 am to 8  pm Friday.  Errors in timing between 1 and 2 hours either way…

We are going to end this blog with potential hazards, beginning with the enhanced risk area.  All modes are in play, including the risk of isolated tornadoes, but damaging winds, and large hail, some possibly over 2 inches in diameter will be possible.  Within the slight risk area, I also think that all modes of severe weather are possible, with damaging winds and large hail being the primary threat, but isolated tornadoes may also be possible.  Finally for the marginal risk area, damaging winds and large hail will be the primary threats, but can not totally rule out a tornado or two.

To end this blog, I will say what I normally would say, there’s a lot of uncertainties in regards to the overall severe weather potential, we have seen where conditions dynamically looked favorable, little or no severe weather occurred.  This could very well happen again tomorrow.  The keys is again how the morning convection, how fast it can move out of the area, and whether we see strong surface heating, if the sun can remain in check and we are dominated with cloud cover, then the severe threat will be limited, however, areas that end up seeing prolonged sunshine and strong surface heating, then those will be the areas that will most likely see the severe weather.  The best you can do is remain weather aware, follow the safety tips below, have a plan of action in the event of warnings, and we will get through tomorrow together, whether severe weather occurs or not.  As far as coverage, we will likely begin coverage as the morning storms move into the state, likely during the overnight hours around 1 or 2 am and we will continue until the severe potential is over.  Tomorrow will be declared a “Weather Alert Day”.  Updates will be available on our Facebook page.  Slide51

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Severe Weather Potential for This Afternoon

Good morning, we are monitoring the potential for strong to severe storms this afternoon for much of the state, with a focus for much of central Indiana.  We will get to that in a moment, but first, a current look at the radar.  We are seeing showers, some moderate to heavy falling across northwest Indiana.  Some lighter showers getting ready to move into west-central Indiana, and some new showers trying to pop up and develop between Bloomington and Washington.  Temperatures ranging from the mid 50s in northwest Indiana to the lower 70s across southern Indiana.Slide2

Now to the actual Convective Outlook.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of central Indiana under a slight risk of severe storms mainly for the afternoon hours.  A marginal risk is in place for much of northern and all of southern Indiana.  Some of the cities under the slight risk include Anderson, Muncie, Kokomo, Indianapolis, Noblesville, Westfield, Fishers, Richmond, Greenwood, Lebanon, Zionsville, Pendleton, Marion, Hartford City, Portland, New Castle, Shelbyville, and Greensburg to name a few.  Slide9

Now to breakdown the timing and what the radar could look like from 11 am this morning to 2 am Tuesday morning.  Showers and embedded thunderstorms will likely be ongoing mainly across northwest and moving into north-central Indiana, with some lighter showers possible in western Indiana.  As we head into the early afternoon, by 2 pm, is where we could see some strong to potentially severe storms possible across northeast Indiana, perhaps moving into the Kokomo area.  By 4 pm, storms could be moving into east-central and northeast Indiana, so areas like Fort Wayne could be seeing some stronger storms during that time.  Heading into the early evening hours, by 7 pm, we could see some strong to severe storms moving into the Anderson area and closing in on the Muncie area.  By the later evening hours, showers and thunderstorms will begin to decrease in coverage and intensity as daytime heating is loss.  A look at Futurecast radar is below.

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Finally the threats, for areas in the marginal risk, for those in the marginal risk area, expect damaging winds to be the primary threat.  Some storms could produce large hail, but with lapse rates looking meager, that threat is extremely low.  For areas under the slight risk, damaging winds again will be the primary threat, but there is the potential for isolated supercell storms, and with enough low-level shear, we can not rule out a tornado or two.  We expect the timing for the highest severe weather potential between 2 pm and 9 pm, but can occur anytime between noon and 10 pm.  For updates on radar and more you can like the Equinox Weather Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.  Be weather aware today!Slide12

Isolated Severe Storm Potential Saturday

Good afternoon, taking a look at current conditions across the Ohio Valley, clouds are beginning to increase across the area from Indiana eastward to Ohio, lots of clear skies in West Virginia.  Temperatures are generally in the 40s and 50s across the Ohio Valley.

Taking a look at FutureCast from 4 pm this afternoon through 7 am Saturday morning will showers and embedded thunderstorms begin to increase in coverage and in some cases intensity.  Showers will begin to move into Indiana in the early evening hours and thunderstorms may enter into the picture between 7 and 9 pm.  Showers and embedded thunderstorms will continue to spread eastward and move into western Kentucky and Ohio by the late evening hours into the very early morning hours of Saturday morning.  Showers at times may be heavy and some of the stronger storms may produce gusty winds and small hail.  Heavy rainfall will move into the Cleveland area by 2 am and around the same time, some lighter rain will begin to move into western West Virginia.  Showers and storms will begin to become more scattered about for Indiana.  By 5 am, heavier rain will move into the Charleston area and by the end of the period will move into eastern West Virginia, while more scattered showers and embedded storms will continue for much of Indiana, central Kentucky, and western Ohio.

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Heading into Saturday, there is a marginal risk of severe storms for much of central and southern Indiana, much of Kentucky, and southwest Ohio as a cold front approaches the area.  While there will be lack of instability with this cold front, dewpoints will increase in the upper 50s and a strong low level flow will be sufficient enough for thunderstorm development, in which a few storms could produce damaging winds.  This will not be a widespread potential by any means, and most areas will not see severe weather, but anyone within the marginal risk area could see isolated damaging winds.

We will continue to monitor the situation even we are not anticipating a widespread event.  For further updates, please like the Equinox Weather Facebook page.

Severe Weather Potential for Sunday

Good afternoon, before we go into details with the severe weather potential for Sunday, we will take a brief look at the current conditions as of this write up.  Warm front as of 11 am is now in southwest Indiana and this front will continue to push northward.  Showers on radar across northern Indiana, with heavy rainfall from near South Bend to Walkerton.  Temperatures are ranging from a cool 43 in South Bend and Elkhart, to a mild 64 in Evansville, Washington, and Jasper.

Looking ahead to Sunday, a strong cold front will continue to march east and southeastward across the Central Plains and will be in a position from central Wisconsin to eastern Iowa to northwest Missouri by Sunday morning.  Showers and thunderstorms could be ongoing as FutureCast will show below.  As of the 1:30 pm Convective Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center, an enhanced risk of severe weather is for all of central Indiana and a small portion of northern and southern Indiana.  A marginal risk of severe weather for extreme northern extreme southern Indiana, with a slight risk in between these area.  It is of a quick note that the threats have been pushed southward a bit, and the southward push could continue depending largely on which areas will be in the warm sector.

Now what is causing the severe weather potential is a strong cold front that will sweep through the area on Sunday afternoon through early Monday morning.  Bulk shear by Sunday evening will range from 35 kts in southwest Indiana to an incredible 80 kts in northwest Indiana, that is plenty of shear to maintain thunderstorms.  Winds at 5,000 feet will range from 20 kts in northwest Indiana to around 45 kts in southern Indiana.  Lapse rates in excess of 7.5 also suggest the potential for very large hail.  However, the exact location of the warm front, and extensive cloud cover and the possibility of a cap being in place can also limit the overall severe weather potential.  Supercell thunderstorms, some semi-discrete could develop during the afternoon hours, and some of those storms will produce all severe weather modes, including a few tornadoes, especially near the location of the warm front, then the storms will congeal into one or more lines of strong to severe storms, where damaging winds, and a brief spin up tornado or two will be possible.  The main threat for those in the enhanced risk area will be large hail and damaging winds, but again a few tornadoes will be possible and the hail may exceed 2″ in diameter.  For the slight risk area, large hail and damaging winds will be the main threats, but can not rule out an isolated tornado.  In the marginal area, large hail and damaging winds are the main threats, but there is also a non-zero risk of an isolated tornado.

Finally looking at FutureCast radar from 4 am Sunday through 4 am Monday morning, showers and thunderstorms may be ongoing near the vicinity of the warm front, some small hail and brief heavy rain may be possible with these storms.  Some of these storms may also play a role in the overall severe weather potential as well.  Stronger rounds of thunderstorms will begin during the early to mid afternoon hours, first starting in Illinois, then moving into Indiana.  It will be some of these storms that will have the potential to become severe.  As we head into the evening hours, showers and thunderstorms, some still could be severe will continue to move ahead of the cold front and with the loss of any daytime heating, these storms will eventually begin to wane slowly after sunset, moving into southern Indiana after midnight.

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Even if the severe weather do not play out as we are expecting it to and that is still entirely possible, heavy rainfall will still be possible with any thunderstorm, and to prove that point, here’s two model solutions of possible rainfall through 7 am Monday.  The GFS is a bit conservative, but still suggesting 1 to 2″ across much of the state.  The NAM 3km model I think might be a little too aggressive at least in the rainfall totals, but as FutureCast showed, most of the heaviest rain will focus on central Indiana, where the model suggests anywhere from 1.5 to 5.25″ of rainfall.  Even the conventional NAM is suggesting over 4″ in east-central Indiana.  Localized flooding will be possible in any of these scenarios.

So to conclude, we are still looking at the potential for severe weather on Sunday, there still remain a few uncertainties that will be answered over the next 12 to 18 hours.  Right now, the area that could see the greatest impacts will be central Illinois and central Indiana, as things have trended a bit more southward.  Heavy rainfall will be possible, even if severe weather do not occur and localized flooding will be possible.  Finally, even though I haven’t mentioned it above, even outside of thunderstorms, winds could gust up to 30 mph ahead of the front that could knock down some branches.  Stay weather aware for Sunday and be sure to keep tuned to the latest information on the Equinox Weather Facebook page.