Let’s Talk About StormsApril 25th, 2014 at 8:46 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
If you were out this morning, then you probably wondered how it was going to feel like Summer this afternoon when it felt like late Winter or Early Spring this morning. We started the day with very dry/cool conditions. Lows were mostly in the 40s. Skies were partly cloudy. When the sun came up it was beautiful. However, a storm was brewing over the Midwest. This system has produced numerous reports of hail and strong winds over that region, and it is moving east. Here’s what it looked like on the Satellite/Radar.
There is a decent amount of upper level energy with this system. There is a pocket of stronger wind shear over central Tennessee which is just southeast of the main low. That area is moving east. Now the forecast for today is tricky. There will be a warm front lifting through the region. Temps will warm to the 70s with 60s on the Eastern Shore.
Winds will be mostly southeast, but they will turn south/southwest later today. I’m confident about the warm temperatures this afternoon, but even still it won’t be crazy warm outside. Also, at the moment there is some very dry air in place. Here are the dew points:
They are increasing into the 50s. When looking for severe weather, unless you have a very strong upper level system, you typically look for dew points of at least 55. Dew points above 60 are more conducive to severe. As you can see the closest 55 is down towards Wilmington and probably towards Hatteras. Now we will moisten up today, but I question how far north the deep moisture gets. The models suggest we’ll be kind of on the edge of the deeper moisture. This will play a huge part in how strong the storms become later today. So stay tuned for updates. I don’t think the instability will be super high, but high enough to possibly see some hail and strong winds this evening. We won’t see any rain through noon except possibly over North Carolina. We’ll see a few isolated/scattered showers and storms in Hampton Roads by 3 pm. Mostly inland. Then the rain chances will increase around the 5pm hour. The rain chances will stay up through 9 o’clock. Here is what our Future Trak computer model shows for 7 pm tonight:
The Storm Prediction Center has put us in a slight risk for severe weather:
While the main threat will be strong winds and possible hail, they also mentioned that an isolated tornado is possible in the region. With the southeast surface winds I can’t rule it out, but the moisture will really have to increase in order for that to happen. We can expect a general tenth to a quarter of an inch with some cities getting up to an inch under any of the thunderstorms.
We will dry out tonight. Lows will drop to the mid 50s. We will stay warm tomorrow despite a wannabe cold front (more of a windshift line). So we’ll see fair skies and highs in the upper 70s. Tomorrow night a more bona-fide cold front will move through. It could create a few showers, but they should stay away from the race at Richmond. These light/scattered showers should push through by sunrise on Sunday morning. Sunday also looks dry. Highs will be in the mid-upper 60s. It will be dry at the Virginia Beach oceanfront Sunday morning for the March of Dimes March for babies. However, it may be a little breezy. Then we’ll be dry on Monday, but the middle of next week still looks very wet and possibly stormy.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler