The Region 8 Storm TEAM uses a 4 part scale to communicate the risk of severe weather. There is only a Medium risk for Wednesday, but a risk that needs to be taken seriously. It's not a high or extreme risk, but if we feel that we need to bump it up over the next few days, we will.
Here are my thoughts on this Sunday morning in bullet points:
- Severe weather is possible in the afternoon and evening hours of Wednesday.
- Instability is not that high, but wind shear is high.
- Strong winds aloft may lead to wind damage and even the chance of tornadoes.
- I do anticipate severe weather watches from the Storm Prediction Center.
Let's show a few maps for you weather geeks. On Wednesday, a strong upper-low will be moving across the county. The pattern is starting to take on more of a "negative tilt" in the trough than what it appeared to have in earlier model runs. That's what has a few people more concerned this morning. I highlighted the area to watch:
Winds at about 5,000 are quite impressive. This easily exceeds our threshold of what we look for in severe storms:
I mentioned earlier that one of the limiting factors was unstable air. We measure that by looking at the CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy. We see that the CAPE increases along the line of storms, but it is not outrageously high:
Even though the CAPE is not that high, we still have a very active atmosphere above with changing wind speeds and directions with height.
We will watch it closely. There's not need to panic. At this time it is only a Medium risk, not a high or extreme risk.