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Weather Blog: Thunderstorms Possible Again Tonight

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 09:52:45-04

Good morning bloggers,

There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms tonight. A slight risk means that a few severe thunderstorms are certainly possible, but we are just not expecting wide spread severe weather. If there is one in your area tonight, however, than it won't matter if they are wide spread or not, you still may experience large hail or damaging winds. The tornado risk is very low, and we are always monitoring closely with our state of the art weather equipment at 41 Action News.

Take a look at this 8:23 AM surface map:

I analyzed the weather data this morning, and I plotted this map. What are you looking at here? This is raw data plotted on the surface map. If you look closely, you will be able to see the state outlines. What are those numbers? The red numbers are the temperatures. The green numbers are the dew points. The dew points indicate the level of moisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. When the dew point is 60 degrees or higher, then the potential for severe weather increases when conditions are right. Notice the green numbers south of the fronts in Oklahoma and Arkansas, into southwestern Missouri. They are 60 degrees or higher. The black lines with little barbs on them show the wind direction and speed. And, the three little numbers on the upper right show the pressure.

This surface map shows that the front is way down to the south, and with that surface low on it, it is stuck down there for now. By tonight, that low will weaken, and a much stronger low will form over Kansas, and this will force the front to lift north as a warm front. This is when thunderstorms are likely to form, which will be after sunset, like last night. If they form earlier, they could be quiet intense, but this seems unlikely at the moment.

The Storm Prediction Center has this region in yellow in the slight risk for today.

Severe weather is possible again tonight, and the risk is a bit stronger than last night. Right now it appears we have a "cap" in place. And, last nights thunderstorms helped push the front down to near the Oklahoma border. What is a "cap"? It is a layer of warmer air aloft that often prevents thunderstorms from forming. Something needs to break this cap, and there is a strong storm moving this way. They cap may hold through sunset, and then like last night thunderstorms will form around 10 PM or so. Could thunderstorms form earlier? Yes, if the cap breaks. Right now we favor in the direction of the cap holding strong through sunset, and we will monitor it closely.

Today's Weather Timing:

  • Now - 7 PM: Cloudy and mild with temperatures warming up to around 58 or 60 degrees north and 74 degrees south. The front will be lifting north, and we will monitor the placement of this front closely, as it will be the focus for thunderstorms tonight.
  • 7 PM - Midnight: There will be an increasing chance of thunderstorms. It could be as early as around 8 PM, or possibly a few hours later. Large hail and damaging winds are the main risk types. A tornado is not out of the question, and we will have to very close attention to the thunderstorms. The SPC has a chance of a tornado within 25 miles of any location at just 5%.
  • After midnight: There is still a chance of thunderstorms, but the risk of severe is much lower.
  • Saturday: Becoming sunny and windy with a high of 75°

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog! We will be monitoring this very closely today and tonight. Have a great Friday.

Gary