All Weather News

Storms Spark On The Edge Of A Heat Bubble

19 Aug 2020, 5:00 pm

The Storm Prediction Center has issued convective outlooks for today and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday) across the Western U.S. from the Rocky Mountains through the Plains and down to the Southwest. We are under a marginal risk both days for severe storms to form along an upper level ridge that will continue to guide storm activity in a clockwise motion.

As we look into the upper dynamics of this system, a trough of low pressure over the Pacific Ocean and a ridge of high pressure over the western United States will continue to bring moisture and energy to the storm potential in the western United States.


We are under a marginal risk, level 1 out of 5, for severe storms from Idaho/Montana south to New Mexico/Texas, plus a couple of other discrete regions including Arizona, California, and Minnesota as seen below.

The main threat you will need to watch out for with these storms will be the potential for strong wind. Some isolated and locally severe wind gusts will be possible. Most of the thunderstorms along this ridge will be elevated, which means their cloud-bases will be higher and this brings the potential for some some strong downburst winds too.

Here’s a look at some of our forecast models and what they expect from these storms. Activity will enhance throughout the afternoon and evening hours as temperatures are warmest to help initialize these storms.

A marginal risk (level 1 out of 5, 5 being the highest) has been issued for the severe weather outlook in parts of Arizona and southern California today. These storms this time of the year are usually wind-makers, causing dust storms but also producing very heavy rainfall. Here are the highlighted areas:

Timing of the potentially-severe storms in parts of Arizona and southern California will be from the late afternoon and through midnight local time.


Looking ahead to Thursday’s outlook, these storms follow the upper level ridge and will also be enhanced throughout the afternoon and evening hours. We are under a marginal risk for Thursday, which brings the same threats just the coverage area is now following the ridge.

The storm risk region will generally be the same as Wednesday, stretching from Montana to New Mexico, however a little farther to the east where more of the Plains will be included in the severe weather outlook.

Our forecast models for Thursday look fairly similar to Wednesday (besides exact location), as seen below.

As we have been calling these “ridge riders” or also known as the “ring of fire” storms, our forecast rainfall is not expected to be intense but it is interesting to see how they are outlined by this area of high pressure.

For more information you can catch us online or on our streaming platforms from WeatherNation.

About the author
Alana Cameron was born and raised in Canada in the city of Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. Alana is the oldest of 4 siblings, all close in age, and grew up playing outside with them in all types of weather. After graduating high school, Alana moved to study at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna for a year before transferring to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where sh... Load Moree completed a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Atmospheric Science. Upon completion, Alana moved back to Toronto where she completed a post-grad degree in Meteorology at York University. After her post-grad, she went on to complete another post-grad in Broadcast Journalism - TV News at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. During her final year of studies she had the privilege of interning with the best in the business in Canada at The Weather Network. Once she finished her internship, she got the call from small-town Denison, Texas where she accepted a job as an on-air meteorologist at KTEN-TV, right in tornado alley, covering severe weather from Sherman/Denison (North Texas) to Ada (Southern Oklahoma). After the most active tornado season Oklahoma had seen in May 2019 (105 tornadoes!) Alana is excited to join WeatherNation to cover weather all across the nation. If you're interested in following her on social media she can be found @alanacameronwx!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *