Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday Severe Weather Threat

THURSDAY is a Weather Authority Alert Day for the WPSD Local 6 Area.

Thursday Morning Update:

The Storm Prediction Center has elevated the area of Western Kentucky and NW Tennessee to a Moderate Risk of severe storms today. The information below remains the same. 

Wednesday Evening Update:

As of Midnight, the Storm Prediction Center has continued the slight risk area over our region but has highlighted the greatest potential for damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. See the map below. 

 An organized line of severe thunderstorms is expected to move across the Local 6 area starting sometime around Noon and exiting by about 6pm. There is a look at that timeline below with each yellow line representing what time we expect the squall line to be at those given locations. Our greatest risk for severe weather will be centered over Western Kentucky, Extreme Southern Illinois, and NW Tennessee. Destructive winds are a big concern with this particular storm system and with enough shear (spin) in the atmosphere, quick spin-ups of tornadoes will also be possible along the larger line of storms as it become more organized. The bulk of this thunderstorm activity will take place during the afternoon hours when our lives are busiest. Be sure to review severe weather safety and preparedness at home, work, and school before storms develop tomorrow. Have a distinct plan in place to cause less confusion with kids that may be coming home from school. No matter where you are planing to take shelter in the event of severe weather, be sure that it is a sturdy structure with a small interior room without windows, or a narrow hallway. Make available something to cover your head to protect yourself as well.
With it being a work/school day for most people, also be sure to find multiple sources that can deliver warnings/alerts to you so you can stay informed. WPSD will be airing severe weather coverage online tomorrow as well at the following link: LIVE STREAM.  Outside of the severe thunderstorm threat, there will be very strong winds at the surface ahead of the cold front. Winds will be sustained at 15-25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Use caution while driving and secure any outdoor items that may get blown around by high winds.
To keep us updated while tracking the storm, let us know what the weather is like in your community! You can share on Facebook, Twitter, or Email your storm report. You can also follow along with others and tag your reports with #WPSDWx and #PAHSpotter

Tuesday Evening Update:

Forecast computer models are pretty much still in line with bringing a strong to severe line of storms to the Local 6 area Thursday afternoon and early Thursday evening. Primary threats with this particular storm system will be damaging winds and localized flooding. There is a lower risk for tornadoes and hail but we cannot completely rule them out.



Monday Evening Update:

It was inevitable. Spring would come knocking sooner or later and the severe weather season would rear its ugly head. It has been a fairly long and cold winter across the Local 6 area so no doubt many are going to bask in the warmer temperatures and sunshine for the middle of this week but it will be those same warmer temperatures that will help to fuel thunderstorms on Thursday.

The Storm Prediction Center has already outlooked our entire region for the threat of severe weather, mainly Thursday late afternoon and early evening.
NOAA - Storm Prediction Center Convective Outlook

This looks to be a pretty classic collision course of battling air masses as a cold front plunges across the Local 6 area on Thursday. It will also bring the threat for strong to severe storms with damaging winds, large hail, and possibly isolated tornadoes.

It certainly is NOT uncommon for our region to see severe weather during the month of February but our month of greatest risk is May. Here is a look at how this week compares with severe weather climatology (1982-2011). The following two graphics illustrate that severe weather this time of year (wind or tornado) is focused across the SE United States. That trend starts shifting to the Central Plains during the later months of Spring.

Over the next several days leading up to the threat of severe weather on Thursday, I will be updating this page with details of timing and severe weather preparedness. Now is the time to think about where you and your family will be on Thursday late afternoon and evening so that you can keep tabs on what steps you may need to take if the weather turns severe.

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