Severe weather is the big story of the day for today. We’ve been watching strong to severe thunderstorms as of this morning already, with more storms on the horizon. Look at that image above, notice those colors. The greens vs. the reds on the map. Warmer & more humid air is flowing in from the Southeast, while more cold and extremely dry air is flowing in from the North/Northwest.
We’re going to take a closer look at that particular zone, as that is where our risk for severe weather is.
Convergence is a very important ingredient to fire off storms, and I’m watching the area highlighted above very closely for that. You have a couple of different reasons for that. A capping inversion (picture warm air aloft, and that prevents less warm air below it from rising) will stay in place early, but then you get that convergence, combined with what you’re seeing in the image below, helping kick-start storms.
This image below is that of lower-level/mid-level vorticity. It is a complex subject, but picture it as a “disturbance.” Like if you started swirling water in your bathtub and the eddie that formed moved to a different portion of your tub. It stirs things up:
There are a few bigger areas of storm energy, and many of those are under a main risk area. Look at the circled region, though, and how it is set to move east. That puts it right over the area of concern highlighted in the images above. That means it is another means of initiation. So you have temperature contrasts and now you have a disturbance that can initiate storms.
How about dewpoint contrasts?
Well… check out this graphic we put together. This below has dewpoint temperatures in the box on the top, with surface temperatures again on the bottom. I highlighted where the “dryline” is using a brown line:
That is one of the more impressive dryline setups I’ve seen this year. With robust storm energy and a dryline, combined with temperature/wind convergence and a blob of a disturbance.
The end result? We’ll have to stay tuned. Here is a map of the entire risk zone. Please make sure you don’t just focus on the zone I highlighted here – check out this map and stay sky-aware if you fall anywhere near this risk zone!
Stay safe everyone, and please don’t take pictures or video if you can’t do so in complete safety!
WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV