Yesterday’s storms certainly intensified in a hurry — numerous wind reports, especially in and around Metro Nashville:
Interestingly, at no point yesterday did the Storm Prediction Center include us in even a “Marginal Risk” of severe thunderstorms, and we were never under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch. All of which proves that severe thunderstorms are always at least possible around here in the heat and humidity of mid-summer.
More scattered storms are expected again today, but the exact evolution of our storm chances is the tricky part of the forecast. One computer model (the BAMS model, for you serious weather nerds) handled this morning’s shower development pretty well, and it holds onto scattered storms at noon, with more activity moving generally north-to-south throughout the afternoon and evening:
Another computer model (the RPM) also has scattered storms on the radar simulation around noon, but then shows a break in the action for much of the afternoon, before more storms move in from the north this evening and early tonight:
So which one will be right? Both. And neither.
I try to always emphasize the importance of looking at the pattern of what the computer models produce, rather than the specific timing and placement of the scattered storms. Today’s the perfect example of that — we expect scattered storms, but the precise timing and placement of those storms is really up in the air. So the various computer models will probably each have some but not all of the details right. Just be prepared for scattered storms — it won’t rain everywhere all the time, but keep the umbrella handy and be ready to adjust.
Some of the storms could be strong again…the Storm Prediction Center HAS included us in a “Marginal Risk” for severe thunderstorms today:
I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if some portion of that is upgraded to a “Slight Risk,” but that depends on how fast the atmosphere de-stabilizes.
Storms aren’t the only story of the day — we’ve got another day of oppressive heat and humidity ahead of us as well. Temperatures will reach the low to mid 90s (hour-by-hour temperatures will depend on whether or not it’s raining in your location) with the heat index maxing out in triple-digit territory again. The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for areas along and west of I-65, where the heat index is most likely to exceed 105:
Want some good news? Drier air will start moving into the Midstate tomorrow, pushing the storm chances down to our south. Very low (or zero) severe-weather chances tomorrow through the weekend:
Even better news: the humidity should be much more tolerable by tomorrow afternoon, and it should remain tolerable (or at least “less uncomfortable”) through the weekend. It will still be hot, but a drop in the humidity is no small victory this time of year.
SO MUCH GEEKINESS.
- Cloud-to-ground lightning isn’t the only electrical phenomenon associated with thunderstorms — now researchers are gaining a better understanding of “sprites.”
- A lot of national-news focus on infrastructure lately, especially the road network across the country…but dams and levees are in need of some attention as well.
- The temperature on Pluto is unbelievably cold…so how is ice on the surface able to flow across the landscape, as the New Horizons probe found?
- Researchers expected to find a lot of craters on Pluto…but instead found an unexpectedly smooth surface. It’s changing the way astronomers are thinking about Kuiper Belt objects like Pluto.
- Analyzing the physics (and math) of the New Horizons mission.
- A different probe, the Rosetta mission, is still orbiting a comet, and finding some cool stuff — for instance, comets have sinkholes.
- And yet another probe, the Dawn mission, has yielded a detailed topographic map of the dwarf planet Ceres.
- Some of the biggest names in science and technology have signed a letter warning of the dangers of “autonomous weapons” — basically, Skynet.
- Smarter people live longer. But you can’t study your way into living to 110 — the link is mostly genetic.
- This is pretty cool — researchers have figured out where the brain unites the view from your two eyes into the one picture of the world you actually see.