Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Troublesome Tuesday

Final Update--10:00 p.m.: Atmosphere is very convoluted tonight, with numerous boundaries that could be the focus for convective development overnight. The most likely scenario is still for storms to develop north of the warm front in Iowa, and then move east into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Hail remains the biggest threat with any storms that may develop. Overall, not a very good forecast today.

Update--4:26 p.m.: Morning/early afternoon convection and clouds really stabilized the atmosphere across much of the region. Severe thunderstorm chances for this evening into the overnight still exist, however, as a warm front remains to our south in Iowa. This front will help thunderstorms develop during the next few hours, most likely across western Iowa. These storms are then expected to move east toward southern Wisconsin. If any storms make it into the area, large hail would be the biggest threat, but some damaging winds or an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Still a lot of wrinkles to be ironed out though, so storms are far from certain at this point. Another complex of storms developing over western Nebraska at this time may move through the region during the day tomorrow, and could pose a threat for some strong storms then.

Previous entry: A complex of showers and thunderstorms is moving eastward into Wisconsin this morning, and should arrive before noon. This complex may weaken somewhat before it arrives, but currently it looks like rain is likely this afternoon. However, this complex is not the big threat for today's weather. A warm front over Iowa is forecast to slowly lift northward today, and thunderstorms are expected to rapidly develop near the front later in the afternoon. These storms could quickly become severe, with a threat of large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes. These storms could then move into Wisconsin during the evening hours, possibly continuing overnight. Currently, the Storm Prediction Center has southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa in the most favorable area for severe storms, but this is going to be highly dependent on what this morning's ongoing thunderstorm complex does. If this complex clears and northern Iowa/southern Minnesota area by noon, which it is forecast to do, then that area will become quite unstable, creating a more favorable environment for storms to develop. Even if we remain cloudy most of the day, these storms could remain severe if they move into the area later on. Overall this is a very messy forecast, but if everything comes together, it could become quite volatile later on. We are in a slight risk of severe weather at this point, but the Storm Prediction Center may need to upgrade parts of the region to a moderate risk as the situation becomes clearer throughout the day.


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