Sunday, March 30, 2014

Severe Weather Possible On Thursday

It's early, but I want everyone to be aware that severe weather season appears to be ramping up this week. At this time, it looks like we could be dealing with tornado watches and possibly some warnings on Thursday. It's too early to get specific on timing and details, but here are the bullet points as of now:

  • The chance for severe weather on Thursday is becoming more likely.
  • Hail, severe winds, and even the chance for tornadoes appears possible at this time.
  • Make sure your severe weather plans are known by the entire family for the upcoming severe weather season. Put batteries in your weather radios and put the helmets on standby, especially for the kids.
  • It's early and there is a chance that the threat will go up or down, but let's plan for severe weather and hope for the best. Deal?
The GFS model has been doing very good in recent months for Region 8. On Thursday afternoon, it shows the warm front north of us, the cold front west of us, and a lot of energy (CAPE) to fuel the thunderstorms that will develop in this area called the "warm sector". I added the fronts to this map to show you the setup. The colors shows the CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy:
In an attempt to make our maps more understandable to the viewers, we are trying a new map this year to communicate the areas with the greatest threat. Many times, the threat level will go up as we get closer to the event and our confidence in the forecast goes up. This is a summary map of the combined threats of hail, wind, tornadoes, and lightning. We use a simple scale of low, medium, high, and extreme. Here is the map as of right now. I anticipate the threat to be increased as we get closer to Thursday:
Our goal is to communicate the severe weather threats in a way that everyone understands. This new experiment is a work in progress, so if there is any way we can make our forecast more understandable, please feel free to email me at or tweet me at @ryanvaughan. Once again, as we get closer to Thursday, this threat may increase. Stay tuned.

Lastly, we are going to be doing maps that outline the timing of the storms to help you plan. We will likely issue these maps the day before the event, so look for the "timing" maps on Wednesday.

This forecast can change and I hope it does, so stay tuned to the Region 8 Storm TEAM this week.



Julie said...

Thank you for all the things you do to keep everyone safe!

Darian Long said...

Thank you for your continued dedication and enthusiasm!