Severe Weather Possible Wednesday

December 25th, 2012 at 11:57 pm by under Weather

It was an active weather day across the South on this Christmas Day. Here is a list of the storm reports, which was captured around 11:30 PM and the count continues to increase. Red dots are tornado reports, blue dots are wind damage reports,  and green dots are hail reports.

24-Hour Storm Reports

On top of all these reports, heavy snow fell across Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. So, some folks did have a White Christmas. This dynamic storm system is moving in our direction. We will stay cloudy tonight but showers should begin to develop and move in from south by tomorrow morning. The atmosphere will become very unstable in the afternoon. A line of showers and storms will likely develop to the west of us tomorrow afternoon and move into Hampton Roads between 5-9PM. Here is what our Future Trak model looks like at 5pm on Wednesday.

Future Trak – Weds at 5PM

The warm front is going to bring in warm and moist air to the region. Highs will be in the 60s tomorrow afternoon, but the warm weather will not last long. Hampton Roads is going to be in the “warm sector” which is the area to the south of the warm front and to the east of the cold front. The “warm sector” is the most unstable and this is typically where we watch for thunderstorm development. That is why the Storm Prediction Center has placed all of Hampton Roads, the Peninsula, the Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore in a slight risk for severe weather. A moderate risk was issued for North Carolina. This means that the POTENTIAL for severe thunderstorms exists Weds afternoon/evening if all of the ingredients are in place.

Wednesday Severe Risk

The main threats with a squall line (line of storms) will be damaging winds gusts in excess of 60mph and heavy rain. Many locations could pick up between 1-2 inches of rain with this system. An isolated tornado threat will exist for areas closest to that area of low pressure. The chance is low, but we can’t rule it out since we will have plenty of wind shear. Wind shear is the change in wind direction and or wind speed with height in the atmosphere.  Wind shear allows storms to rotate. There are still a lot of questions whether these storms will turn severe.  Computer models keep the rain and the clouds around for most of the day. This will limit the amount of instability in the atmosphere. If we see less rain in the morning and more sunshine, then the threat for severe weather will be going up. Moisture values will be higher across North Carolina, so that is why the risk for severe weather is slightly higher there. Think of it as if you are cooking. If you are missing just one ingredient, then the finished product will not turn out as expected. All the ingredients need to be in place in order for these storms to develop.  We will keep you posted.

Jeff will have more updates starting at 4:30 AM. Make sure to tune in.

Meteorologist Tiffany Savona



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