A mix of clouds and sunshine in store for Wednesday…high temperatures will depend on how much sunshine emerges. Right now I’m thinking that we’ll see more clouds than sun, which will keep us below 70 degrees:
However, IF the sun breaks through, 70 will be reachable!
The most-complicated day in the forecast is Thursday, with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be strong or even severe — the strength of those storms will depend on when they move in, and how fast they travel through the Midstate. Previous forecast model runs had been pointing at a sunrise-ish arrival time, and a fast progression — that would have been great news, since early morning is the most-stable time of day (and thus, the least likely to be conducive to severe weather). But the most recent data has indicated a later arrival time, and slightly slower movement, as the latest version of Futurecast depicts:
Notice how the radar simulation looks “angrier” later in the day. That doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to see severe weather — at the most-unstable time of Thursday, the amount of energy available to fuel strong/severe thunderstorms will still be marginal. But the wind setup in the atmosphere overhead will definitely be favorable, so it’s something we’ll have to watch closely. The Storm Prediction Center has outlined roughly the southern half of the Midstate in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5) for severe thunderstorms:
If the model guidance continues to “slow down” the storm arrival times, the Slight Risk area might have to be expanded farther to the northwest.
The key question is, how organized? The Supercell Composite Parameter measures that, and its forecast values aren’t off-the-charts by any means:
Those numbers (over 1, but below 3) tell me that we’ll have to keep a close eye on Thursday’s storms, but they also tell me that this could easily be no big deal if things don’t come together exactly right. IF the storms manage to become severe, damaging straight-line winds would be the main threat.
Once Thursday’s storms move through, we’ll calm down for a couple of days. Cool but pleasant on Friday, then things look very nice for Saturday’s Easter egg hunts!
I can’t say the same for Easter Sunday itself — a good chance of showers and thunderstorms will move in, so be very flexible with any outdoor plans. It’s way too early to speculate on any severe potential on Sunday, but right now it’s not a big concern.
Plenty of science-related news and other assorted nerdiness for you today…
- The superior performance of the European forecast model (compared to the American GFS model) has become national news since Hurricane Sandy. I’ve received more than a few (probably well-intentioned) emails telling me to “just use the European model.” Well…here’s why we don’t do that.
- Some myths about seasonal allergies.
- A very subtle lunar eclipse will be visible Wednesday morning…
- …and you can see the moon paired with a very bright Jupiter in the evening.
- A new “gravity map” gives astronomers their best look yet at the interior of Mars.
- What do the skies look like on exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars)?
- The Kepler Space Telescope is usually used by astronomers to hunt for exoplanets…but it also caught a glimpse of the initial flash of an exploding star.
- Does nuclear energy have a future in the United States?
- A world of driverless cars also means (eventually) a world without traffic lights. LET’S GET RID OF THE ONE AT WHITE BRIDGE AND CHARLOTTE FIRST.
- Is the Bermuda Triangle actually dangerous?
- The science behind new forms of concrete might sound dull, but it’s world-changing.
- Apple’s new iOS solves one of the iPhone’s most-harmful features.
- This is why we can’t have nice things, internet.