Thursday, October 8, 2009

Severe Storms Today?

Just getting back from a couple of days off and I look at the Storm Prediction Center's website and I find out that we have a risk for severe thunderstorms.

The Storm Prediction Center has included all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, northeast Arkansas, and southwest Indiana in a "Slight Risk". The risk runs through 7am Friday morning.

Reading through SPC's 11:30am discussion, they seem to be pointing at damaging winds the main threat. However, they also indicate there is some potential for tornadic development. Notice below in the tornado probability graphic. There is a bulls eye over northeast Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel.

Tornado Probability

Damaging Wind Probability

As I mentioned, I am just getting back from a quick trip to California. So I haven't been following this situation too closely.

This morning I have been looking at some of the weather data and I do see some potential, but right now it is just potential. I think there are several "ingredients" missing. Today's set-up would be similar to baking a cake. You have all the ingredients together on your kitchen counter, but then you realize you forgot the flour.

I am not sold on the thunderstorm development later this afternoon and tonight. I think there is a lack of instability across the region. At 11:00am CT, temperatures are only in the 50's across the region and dew points are only in the 60's. The atmosphere has been worked over from the rain that moved through the area this morning. Further south, Arkansas, temperatures are in the 60's and dew points are in the 60's. In fact, from Little Rock south temperatures are in the upper 70's with dew points in the 70's.

Having said that, it appears that we will likely see some heavy rain moving through the area Friday. Models indicate the heaviest rain will be in the area Friday morning.

I'm in for Bob Reeves tonight so tune in to Heartland News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 for the latest. If you don't live in the area you can also watch the newscasts live on the website. (Newscast times listed above are Central.)

You can also get updates from me via Twitter. Follow me @johndissauer.

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