Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Severe Update For New Year's Eve

The SPC, or Storm Prediction Center, now has most of Region 8 in "Slight Risk" for severe weather on their Day 3 Outlook. This would be for New Year's Eve. Just like the SPC, I think there is a chance of severe weather, but it is what we call "conditional". IF we see the air become unstable with the help of some sunshine.. then the risk will be higher. As of now, I'm just not completely sold on severe weather. We WILL see storm with lightning and thunder, but I'm not sold on seeing large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. The MAIN threat would be damaging straight line winds.

Here's the setup.  Notice the warm air surging northward ahead of the surface low. This is the lunch hour on Friday from the GFS:
We will at least have temperatures in the 60s across Region 8. This will help us to be more unstable. If we start to see widespread 70s... we may have a higher storm threat. This next map shows the CAPE, which is the "energy" to fuel these storms. Notice the highest amount of "energy" is to our south. That's the main thing we're lacking for severe weather. No complaints here! I'm "suppose" to be off work.
Remember, the air can be much more unstable if we really get a surge of warmer air and we break into some sunshine. One thing we are not lacking are winds. The map below is the 850mb winds. Anytime I see winds over 35-40 kts at 850 mb in a convective setup is a red flag for me. As mentioned earlier, straight line winds look to be the main threat for these storms. I'd be shocked to see large hail as I don't think these storms will be building up too high... Anywho, note the shaded areas:
If we get some of those winds to transport down to the ground, we could see some damage in some of the stronger storms.

If it gets too nasty, I will be at work. Otherwise, J-Lo... aka Justin Logan will be holding down the fort.

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