March 24: Severe Storms Possible Saturday, Daily Links


Today’s showers have moved off to the east, and we’ll see clearing skies this evening, which will allow temperatures to drop to the mid 50s by midnight.  But as southerly winds pick up, our temperatures will stay right there — we’ll start in the mid 50s Friday morning:

Those southerly winds will warm us up to the mid 70s Friday afternoon under a mix of clouds and sunshine:

Saturday will bring our next chance of showers and thunderstorms, and some of the storms could be severe in the afternoon and evening.  Still a lot of questions about this system, the biggest of which is, will we see rain early in the day?  If we do, that would help to stabilize the atmosphere and lower our severe weather potential later in the day.  That’s pretty much the scenario depicted by our RPM forecast model:

But, notice that “break” between rain chances — the longer that break is, the more time the atmosphere will have to recover and destabilize again.  A different scenario is depicted by the NAM model, which shows the first batch of storms fizzling before it even reaches the Tennessee River — that means the atmosphere over the Midstate would be “ready to go” for severe storms Saturday afternoon and evening:

The uncertainty shown between the forecast models is part of why the Storm Prediction Center has outlined most of the Midstate in just a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) for severe storms, with southwestern Middle Tennessee included in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5):

In terms of geography, that lines up very well with what the SPC’s ensemble forecast model (a blend of over 25 different models) is showing — a 50-70% chance of storms with severe characteristics late Saturday afternoon:

However, those specific numbers are pretty high, which indicates that the SPC might bump up the categories in future outlooks.

Just a few lingering showers early Sunday, then partial clearing with high temperatures near 70° for the second half of the weekend.  Another chance of strong storms will move towards the Midstate by Monday:

At the moment, the SPC is once again focused on areas just to our southwest for the greatest severe weather potential:

That’s a long way off, so we’ll keep an eye on it.  Even a longer way off is yet another chance of strong storms late next week — right now late Thursday and Thursday night would be the best guess, but we’ll have plenty of time to focus on that as it gets closer.



A shorter-than-normal batch of nerdiness today — I’m not used to doing the evening shift, so I didn’t have as much time to mine the internet.


About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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