March 27: Another Severe Storm Chance


We’re starting off the new work week with another chance of strong to severe thunderstorms, moving in during the afternoon and evening.  Temperatures will reach the mid 70s this afternoon before the storms move in:

The various forecast models are still having some disagreements regarding the timing of the strongest storms…overall, I think the pictured here has a good handle on the storm pattern — hit-and-miss activity ahead of the “main event” that will move in by late afternoon and evening:That’s the NSSL-WRF, if you’re keeping track of weather nerdery or trying to cheat at Scrabble.  Smoothing out the timing differences between the models, here’s when I expect the strongest storms to occur:

An important caveat: these storms don’t exist yet.  The forecast arrival times will depend on exactly when and exactly where they develop (around midday) — once that happens, we’ll be able to narrow down those time windows.

This is a much more significant threat than the “borderline” scenario we had on Saturday.  The Storm Prediction Center’s ensemble model (a blend of 25+ different models) shows a 70-90% chance of storms with severe characteristics in the Midstate this afternoon and this evening:

The statistics we use to gauge specific severe weather threats (specifically, the Supercell Composite Parameter and the Significant Tornado Parameter) aren’t off-the-charts, but they’re more than sufficient to have our attention.  Large hail and damaging winds will be the main threats, with the tornado risk remaining lower…but certainly not zero!

The SPC has included roughly the western two-thirds of the Midstate in an “Enhanced Risk” (level 3 of 5) for severe weather, which is significant…the remainder of the area is in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5):

If all the Enhanced/Slight/Marginal risk stuff is confusing, that’s totally understandable — this graphic from the National Weather Service should be useful:

Bottom line: plan on staying weather-aware today, especially in the late afternoon and evening.  Social media links are at the bottom of this post — Twitter is a much more useful resource during severe weather.  Facebook is essentially useless for minute-by-minute (or even hour-by-hour) information, because of how its filters affect your feed.

Just a few lingering showers Tuesday, with highs in the low 70s:

Back to the upper 70s Wednesday…before yet another chance of strong to severe thunderstorms will head our way Thursday.  At this point we’re included in the SPC’s “extended” severe weather outlook — we’ll have details on the level of that threat tomorrow (Slight, Moderate, etc.):

Things will quiet down later this week…in fact, at this point the weekend is looking nice!



Trying to figure out today’s severe weather scenario ate up all my time this morning — the nerd-links will return tomorrow…


Social media links

Twitter: @WSMVweather, @PaulHeggenWSMV, @WSMVLisaSpencer, @WSMVDanThomas, @daphne_deloren, @NWSNashville

Facebook: 4WARN Weather, Paul Heggen WSMV, Lisa Spencer, Dan Thomas WSMV, Daphne DeLoren, NWS Nashville

Instagram: PaulHeggenWSMV


About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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