Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Widespread Damaging Winds Possible

Update--10:00 p.m.: Thunderstorms are finally beginning to redevelop over south central Minnesota, and a Tornado Watch has just been issued for areas west of the Mississippi River. A thunderstorm complex is expected to form and move across the region overnight, bringing a threat of damaging winds, large hail, and heavy rain. Things didn't quite pan out the way they were expected to today, but the severe weather threat nonetheless continues for the next several hours.

Previous entry: Today will be a very interesting weather day. There is currently a moderate risk for severe thunderstorms, mainly this afternoon and evening. A line of strong thunderstorms is currently moving eastward across Minnesota and will likely affect at least part of the region late this morning. Additional thunderstorms are expected to develop over south central Minnesota early this afternoon. All of the conditions for significant severe weather are forecast to be in place. These storms are expected to develop into a squall line and move east into western Wisconsin and adjacent areas of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa late this afternoon into this evening. If everything comes together the right way, widespread damaging winds are possible, along with very large hail and possibly a few tornadoes. Heavy rain will also be a threat, as copious amounts of moisture will be available. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center paints a bullseye of 3 to 4 inches of rain right over southwest Wisconsin, and indicates that isolated 5-inch amounts could be possible.

As always, the forecast is far from certain. Indeed, most severe weather forecasts for our region have been wrong so far this season, but forecasters seem to be especially confident about today's situation. This is definitely something to be monitored as the day progresses. It will also be interesting to see what kind of effect the first round of storms currently moving across Minnesota has. They could stabilize the atmosphere and prevent significant redevelopment later today, or they could reinforce the warm front to the south and create even more volatile conditions. The latter scenario appears more likely at this time. I'll have updates as conditions warrant. In the meantime, read this Public Severe Weather outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center. These are only issued when a widespread outbreak is expected, and is the first one issued for our region this season:


Post a Comment

<< Home