March 22: Warm and Breezy, Storms Thursday, Daily Links

WEATHER

Temperatures were chilly areawide again this morning, but we’re in for a nice warm-up today.  Abundant sunshine and strong southerly winds will push high temperatures well into the 60s:
TUESDAY HIGHS

The wind won’t be strong enough to necessitate a Wind Advisory, but it will be quite breezy, with gusts around 30 mph:
PAUL RPM WIND GUSTS

The southerly wind and increasing clouds cover will combine to keep temperatures mild tonight — we’ll start off Wednesday morning around 50 degrees:
WEDNESDAY LOWS

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:
WEDNESDAY HIGHS
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:
RPM 8A THU RPM 11A THU RPM 2P THU RPM 5P THU

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:
PAUL SEVERE RISK REGION
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 Short-Range Ensemble Forecast model shows a decent chance (30-50%) of “organized” thunderstorms from late Thursday morning through the afternoon:
SREF_prob_combined_supercell__f054 SREF_prob_combined_supercell__f057 SREF_prob_combined_supercell__f060

The key question is, how organized?  The Supercell Composite Parameter measures that, and its forecast values aren’t off-the-charts by any means:
SREF_SCCP_MEDIAN_MXMN__f057
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!
WSMV 7 Day AM
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.

 

LINKS

Plenty of science-related news and other assorted nerdiness for you today…

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About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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