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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/23/2010

Severe storm, tornado season cranks up

By Ian Livingston

Poll: When will D.C. area see first t-storm watch

* Weekend showers: Full Forecast | NatCast | News & notes *

After a quiet start to the spring severe weather season, more than 30 tornadoes ripped across the Plains on Thursday with more than 100 severe reports altogether. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) expects the severe threat to continue today into tonight, shifting several hundred miles to the east.

This same system will affect the D.C. area this weekend, especially on Sunday. Depending on the ultimate track and strength we may be looking at our first respectable severe weather setup of the season -- though likely in a significantly more benign state than seen in the south-central U.S. yesterday or today.


The Storm Prediction Center forecasts a moderate risk of severe storms through tonight (map above) and tomorrow as well. Within today's moderate risk area is a 15% chance that a tornado will occur within 25 miles of a given point.

From SPC:

...THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST TX...NORTHERN LA...MUCH OF AR...NORTHERN AND WESTERN MS...AND WESTERN TN...

...REGIONAL SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL FOR STRONG TORNADOES IS POSSIBLE TODAY OVER PORTIONS OF THE LOWER MS VALLEY...

It's just a matter of time until severe weather catches up with us here in and around Washington. What's your prediction?...

Dan Stillman contributed to this post.

By Ian Livingston  | April 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Thunderstorms  
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Next: PM Update: Get outside this evening, weekend iffy

Comments

Of related interest, see "Experimental Enhanced Resolution Thunderstorm Graphic"

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/enhtstm/

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | April 23, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Both main American models tend to want to give us at least some breaks of sunshine on Sunday after morning activity associated with the warm front. If that happens the afternoon/evening could be quite interesting given the setup. "Slight risk" of severe was introduced just south for day 3 from SPC, but I'd think it will cover the area in newer updates if guidance stays similar.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 23, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think we see a rather good chance for severe weather any time from noon Sunday until the cold frontal passage some time Monday.

However this will all depend on whether the warm front moves north of us Sunday morning. High temperatures predicted for no higher than 70 until next Thursday or so. It's possible we may stay north of the warm front and the cold front will pass us as a cold occlusion. This could give us some lightning but diminished chances for severe weather.

The cirrus clouds moving over us this morning showed some evidence of cirrocumulus but not too much. This foreshadows some instability in the warm sector, but not an extremely unstable situation [as often prevails in Midwest warm sectors under similar circumstances].

I might get a better handle on the Midwestern situation when Tom Skilling's WGN weather report airs at 1:30 PM. Yesterday the situation in Kansas looked rather unstable and there were some tornadoes in Texas.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 23, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

As much heat as the snowlovers took this past winter for cheering the snow, I think it's interesting how some weather fans "cheer" for severe weather. Earlier this year, Accuweather's Henry M. sounded frustrated about the dew points and cold gulf temps not being conducive to severe weather...

Posted by: spgass1 | April 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

A low-CAPE, high-shear environment is possible. Forecast soundings right now aren't terrific but in range to change for the better when we get closer in. Especially if the warm front doesn't get too far away from us.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Looks like late tonight into tomorrow is the major deal.. SPC talking about possible upgrade to high risk (violent and long-tracked tornadoes etc) over portions of the South.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Low CAPE doesn't sound too optimistic...Tom Skilling's report has the Midwestern clouds only as high as 25,000 ft....they were up to 50,000' yesterday while we had tornadoes in TX, CO and KS.

One interesting feature...there's some lightning in Canada...mostly scattered near the Trans-Canada Highway between Winnipeg and Calgary, over the Prairie Provinces...there also seems to be one isolated CTG strike east of Fredericton in New Brunswick...first wide-area coverage of lightning [though isolated] north of the border this spring. Otherwise the main area of U.S. lightning seems to be in Louisiana at this time. There may be more activity north into Illinois as the afternoon progresses.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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