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HEADS UP: Line of storms plows through Thursday night; Wind damage possible

High heat and humidity are setting the stage for what could be an outbreak of damaging winds on the East Coast Thursday night. I've been tracking this threat for days, and now it looks like a good bet that we will see a line of storms move through that is at least capable of severe weather. Here's what you need to know...

Heat & humidity provide fuel for thunderstorms.

Setup:

High pressure has set up to our south. This time around, that means that it will funnel heat into our area. Here's why. Texas and Oklahoma have endured searing heat the last several days with highs near 100°. That heat is getting picked up by the clockwise winds around the area of high pressure, and then carried eastward all the way into the Carolinas. This is an easy way to get plenty of heat in place very quickly. As a result:

  • Wednesday and Thursday will be the warmest days of 2013 (so far) in the Carolinas.
  • Temperatures in the mid and upper 90's for highs will combine with dewpoints near 70 provide a warm and humid environment.
  • Since heat and humidity are the fuel that allows thunderstorms to grow and thrive, it will be easy for big storms to form up and down the East Coast.
  • All that's needed is a "trigger" for storms to get going. (In this case a strangely strong cold front moving through the Great Lakes will be that "trigger" to allow storms to fire Thursday.)
Storm Prediction Center threat level tomorrow. ILM in elevated risk.

Timing:

Here are some maps showing our in house model (RPM) idea on when the storms will form and where they will go. 

RPM Model Thursday @ 4pm
RPM Model Thursday @ 9pm

Other computer models differ on the exact timing on when our line of storms will roll through, but the general idea has been from the evening hours through midnight Thursday.

  • Make sure to be looking out for warnings beginning Thursday evening!

Threats

This type of severe weather outbreak will have very specific threats. It is not a tornado outbreak, and not a pop-up severe thunderstorm outbreak. Instead, storms will likely form in a line that heads its way into North Carolina all at once. 

  • Damaging wind threat is significant. Winds of over 60 mph will be the main threat with these storms. At times, storms like these have had a history of producing widespread straight-line wind damage that can cause extended power outages. [That threat is higher as you head farther north toward VA]
  • Hail threat is relatively minor.
  • Tornado threat is very low. 
  • Flooding threat is low. Even with recent rains, these storms will be very fast movers and shouldn't cause widespread flooding.
Threat levels for the storms on Thursday night.

Make sure to stay informed as we head into tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night. Have a way to receive warnings, and keep it with WWAY for updates! The weather gets great on Friday and we have a beautiful Fathers Day weekend. 

Thanks for reading.

- TB

Connect with me online!

 

By: Tim Buckley

Emailed

A nephew of mine in Columbus OH last night.
They are "freaking out", media wise, around there about that line of thunderstorms - with the possibility of derecho type storms developing. (Tim could you explain that type of storm, please?)

Mother Nature 'ain't fooling around this year......

Vog

"Derecho"

They have reason to be concerned up there tonight. High threat for wind damage there today/tonight.

A "derecho" is one of these meteorological terms that was mostly just for textbooks until the huge wind storm that ripped through the mid-Atlantic just about one year ago that knocked out power for up to two weeks in spots. Now, it's in the media like "El Nino" and others.

Essentially, a derecho is a term used to describe an extremely large, and very long lived severe wind storm that causes extensive damage over a path that stretches hundreds of miles long. It is not an individual thunderstorm, but a large complex, or group, of thunderstorms that feature straight-line wind damage. The term derecho is really used to classify an outbreak of storms after they happen.

Here's a great webpage that answers pretty much any questions you may have: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/derechofacts.htm

Tim

Thanks - great link too.

I've seen pictures of those wall clouds and thought "Oh that's "just" a thunderstorm."
I think if 'ol Vog sees one of those bad boys he'll be heading inside for a cup of joe and the recliner.........

Vog