March 21: Severe Storms Possible, Daily Link


Before a threat of strong/severe storms arrives late today, we’ll see partly sunny skies through early afternoon.  Temperatures will reach the mid 70s:

Strong thunderstorms will move in from the west by late afternoon and into this evening.  The HRRR model’s radar simulation shows storms approaching the Tennessee River by 3-4pm, along I-65 by 5-6pm, then moving off the Cumberland Plateau already by 8pm:

It also shows a few storms developing ahead of the main batch, which will also be potentially severe.  That’s one version of one model — others are a little slower or faster, so we’ll be updating the hour-by-hour timing throughout the day.  The best chance of severe thunderstorms will be along and south of I-40 — the Storm Prediction Center’s ensemble model (a blend of 25+ different forecast models) shows a 70% chance of storms with severe characteristics in that part of the Midstate through early evening:

The specific severe thunderstorm ingredients aren’t off-the-charts, but they’re sufficient to produce both damaging wind and large hail threats.  The SPC has outlined an “Enhanced Risk” (level 3 of 5) of severe storms, roughly along and south of I-40:

The rest of the Midstate is under a “Slight Risk” (2 of 5) or “Marginal Risk” (1 of 5) — the farther north you go, the less concerned you should be.  And overall, while this setup is enough to get your attention, I’m honestly surprised that the SPC went as high as Enhanced Risk for today.  Just plan on staying weather-aware and we’ll keep you updated.

Just an isolated lingering shower or two early Wednesday morning, then cooler throughout the day — highs will only reach the upper 50s:

Back to near-normal temperatures Thursday, and above-normal temperatures Friday:

Another round of showers and storms heads our way Saturday.  As of this morning, the SPC is still showing the greatest potential for severe weather just off to our southwest, but close enough that we’ll have to keep an eye on it:

Beginning Saturday, the European forecast model (the most-accurate of the long-range models) shows us in a pattern of “every 48 hours” storm chances.  That means more storms Monday, then again next Wednesday:

Those systems will need to be monitored for severe-weather potential as well.  It’s definitely springtime!




About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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