A warm but unsettled start to the new work week — temperatures will be well above average today, but off-and-on showers will move in along with the warmer air. The HRRR model’s radar simulation has a good handle on the rain pattern:
Don’t be surprised if you hear a few rumbles of thunder, but our severe weather potential will remain very low today. Once the best chance of rain moves to the north this afternoon, temperatures will reach the low 60s:
A better chance of strong thunderstorms heads in on Tuesday, but it doesn’t look like the things are going to line up exactly right to produce a significant severe weather outbreak. The various forecast models have differing versions of when and where the best chance of storms will shape up, but I’m partial to the RPM model’s depiction of widespread storms from early morning through mid-afternoon:
The Storm Prediction Center has included the entire Midstate in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5) of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday:
That categorization means that strong/severe storms are certainly possible, but far from guaranteed. Why the uncertainty? If you were going to design a severe weather setup, you’d try to get the best wind energy and the greatest instability to overlap at the same time…but that doesn’t look likely tomorrow. The best wind energy (necessary to organize the thunderstorms) will be in place tomorrow morning, but the instability won’t be impressive at that point. The best instability will shape up later in the day, but by that point the wind field won’t be as favorable. Nonetheless, the strongest storms in both time frames will have the potential for damaging straight-line winds and large hail. SPC’s short-range ensemble forecast model (SREF) depicts a roughly 50% chance of storms with at least some severe characteristics west of I-65 Tuesday morning, with gradually diminishing odds as the storms progress eastward through the day:
Temperatures will still reach the upper 60s in between the storms tomorrow. Still mild but showery on Wednesday, then a brief cold snap settles in Thursday and Thursday night:
Temperatures will already warm up to the upper 50s on Friday, then we’re back into the 60s over the weekend. Saturday looks like the drier half of the weekend at this point, but we’ll keep you updated on that as the weekend gets a little closer.
- The amazing improvements in winter weather forecasting since the 1970s. (Very nerdy, but also very interesting.)
- Atmospheric researchers are making progress in understanding “atmospheric rivers” like the one that brought heavy rain to California last week.
- Dirty air isn’t just bad for your lungs. It can be bad for your brain, too.
- Last week we got a VERY close shave from a small asteroid.
- A bit of Mars flung into space a million years ago offers surprising volcanic insights.
- There are hundreds of moons in our solar system, but one of Saturn’s might be the strangest.
- Rocket problems may delay SpaceX’s first crewed launches.
- Video of the week: hundreds of millions of gallons of lava streamed into the ocean in Hawaii.
- Exactly how bad is antibiotic resistance right now?
- If NFL helmets had accelerometers, researchers might find correlations between force, angle of hits, and concussions.
- Super Bowl psychology: Why athletes (or offensive coordinators) “choke” — and how to avoid it.