Not Again! Moderate Risk of Severe Storms
In a normal year, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) places the metro area under a "moderate risk" for severe storms maybe once or twice. But this has been no ordinary year and, for at the least the fourth time already, we're under a moderate risk for severe storms. SPC writes:
The combination of increasing instability and strong winds aloft will support the development of numerous strong to severe thunderstorms...including a few supercells [rotating thunderstorms] along and ahead of the cold front. These storms will organize into lines and clusters that will produce long swaths of damaging wind...in addition to hail and perhaps isolated tornadoes.
The SPC indicates the biggest threat with today's storms will be damaging winds -- with a 45% likelihood. Hail is also possible (30% chance) with tornadoes a lesser threat (at around 2% probability).
Because of the somewhat random fashion in which thunderstorms form, they may not affect everyone and some areas will see worse effects than others. The most likely timing for storms will between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. although the western suburbs could be affected a bit earlier and the eastern suburbs a bit later. Storms could well impact the evening commute.
Stay tuned for further updates throughout the day. See my earlier post for the full forecast through the week.
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