More scattered showers and thunderstorms across the Midstate today, but once again the pattern will be hit-and-miss. Not a washout, but keep the umbrella handy and be ready to grab it at any point. The HRRR model (a very short-range forecast model that only looks 15 hours into the future) depicts the best chance of rain from late morning into early afternoon, then a spotty pattern through this afternoon, with more rain this evening:
Regardless of what the model data shows, with this type of weather pattern you have to be ready for rain pretty much at any point. There will be dry breaks in between the showers and storms, during which temperatures will warm up to the mid 80s:
I’m more confident in Saturday’s rain chances, because there will be an atmospheric feature to help organize the shower and thunderstorm activity — it’s an upper-level system that will drop in from the northwest and eventually push the unsettled weather pattern to the southeast. But as it moves in, showers and storms will become likely from midday Saturday onward into Saturday night:
A few of the storms Saturday afternoon could be strong, and the Storm Prediction Center has included the northern half (roughly) of the Midstate in a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) for severe weather:
The SPC’s short-range ensemble forecast model shows a 40-50% chance of storms that will at least approach severe limits on Saturday:
Regardless of whether the storms become technically severe — defined by 60+mph wind gusts or 1″+ diameter hail — ALL thunderstorms on Saturday will be capable of producing heavy rain and frequent lightning.
That drier air will stick around for several days…in fact, next week’s forecast is looking quite nice! Too bad we can’t arrange that kind of forecast for the weekend.
The weekend of CMA Fest and Bonnaroo is just a smidge beyond the scope of the 7-day forecast, but the long-range outlook points to a return of the heat and humidity from Friday through Sunday, with scattered showers and storms possible for the weekend itself.
Last batch of weather and science-related links for the week…
- My forecast segments this morning were centered on our storm chances around here through the weekend, so I didn’t have time for any tropical stuff — but Bonnie is back from the dead, and there’s another system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Can cities create their own thunderstorms? (Short answer: yes. Long answer: click the link!)
- Even large and rugged Army vehicles aren’t immune to the power of moving water, as tragically proven yesterday in Texas.
- Heavy rain is causing significant flooding in Europe as well.
- Some residents are returning to Fort McMurray after last month’s wildfire, to see what they can salvage.
- Which city in the United States has the most unpredictable weather? I’ve worked in two of the top 20 (Duluth and Tulsa) — Nashville ranks in the middle of the list.
- A thin layer of graphene could make solar cells work in all weather.
- A massive solar storm (or the electromagnetic pulse from a high-altitude nuclear detonation) would cause massive problems in the United States…but there’s a way to guard against both threats.
- Astronomers are using a radio telescope to get a look beneath the clouds of Jupiter.
- One of the most surprising findings of the New Horizons mission to Pluto is that the dwarf planet is still geologically active.
- Among the things the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to do when it’s launched in 2018: confirm the existence of “Planet 9” and study said planet.
- 5 reasons for human civilization to attempt to explore outside of our own solar system.
- Scientists have discovered one of the youngest exo-planets ever.
- Exo-planets in the “Goldilocks zone” around their host star may not be so friendly after all.
- Data from the Hubble Space Telescope indicates that the Universe is expanding about 5% to 9% faster than expected.
- Does the Universe have an edge?
- SpaceX plans to start sending cargo to Mars every two years, beginning in 2018…and they’re still hoping to send humans to Mars in 2024.
- The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, thinks we’re all living in some kind of virtual reality simulation. Or that we ARE the simulation.
- Some reaction to that particular train of thought, and why the idea is dangerous.