Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Severe Storms Possible Thursday

Good afternoon! Many people are wondering if the spring-like temperatures we had last week will ever return. I am sure most of you have noticed how the first week of spring has been so cool. Well things will stay relatively cool for the short term with the approach of a strong cold front. However, the long term looks to bring back some warmer temperatures. But first, we have to get through this weeks storm system which could bring some strong to even severe storms during the day on Thursday.

Today and Tonight
Today was another cool day, with high temperatures much cooler than previously foretasted due to some pesky cloud cover. However, the clouds will thin out somewhat, so we may reach the 70 mark here in Bowling Green late this afternoon. It also is quite breezy, with strong southerly winds gusting as high as 25mph. This evening expect the cloud cover to increase once more with the influence of our next incoming storm system that will bring rain for Thursday. Not expecting much in the way of rain this evening, but an isolated shower or thunderstorm won't be out of the question in the wee hours tomorrow. Lows tonight will struggle to dip below 60, thanks in part to the southerly flow that much of the southeast is currently experiencing.

 Current weather map courtesy of WPC. Note the incoming system currently stationed over the plains.


*Severe Weather Possible* 

A low pressure system will track to our north over areas of northern Illinois. A strong trailing cold front will swing through the area tomorrow night with areas of showers and thunderstorms out ahead of the front. High temperatures will approach the upper 60's, with winds still gusting up to 30mph from the south. Depending on how much destabilization of the atmosphere occurs during the day tomorrow, severe thunderstorms may be a real possibility for Thursday. Latest model guidance suggests a strong low level jet (LLJ) coupled with some warm air advection will lead to widespread showers and thunderstorms. With enough instability and some deep layer shear, any thunderstorms that develop will have a wind threat and quite possibly some isolated tornadoes within storms out ahead of the cold front. The Storm Prediction Center currently has much of South Central Kentucky under a "slight" risk for severe weather. Again the main impacts will be strong winds, some hail and maybe an isolated tornado. The timing of the severe storms will likely be between 10am and 3pm. Stay tuned to WKU Storm Topper Network for the latest information. 

SPC day 2 outlook. Source: SPC

4km NAM shows a strong LLJ roaring over much of Kentucky, bringing with it the chances of strong to severe storms. Source: Pivotal Weather. 

4km NAM composite reflectivity product showing some widespread rain and embedded strong to sever thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. Source: Tropical Tidbits.

Once the cold front impacts the region tomorrow afternoon and evening, some much cooler air will filter in. Low temperatures will dip down into the upper 30's on Thursday night.  Skies will clear out Friday and much cooler high temperatures around 55.

Long Term
Southerly flow will return on Saturday and Sunday, yielding more springlike temperatures in the 60s and 70s and generally fair weather. The next system will bring widely scattered showers and storm again Sunday night and into Monday.      

Extended Forecast

A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. 
Showers and thunderstorms likely, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am. High near 66. Breezy, with a south wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. 
Thursday Night
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. West wind 8 to 13 mph. 
Mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Northwest wind 3 to 8 mph. 
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 36. Light east wind. 
Sunny, with a high near 67.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 47.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Sunday Night
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.
A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 61.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 69.
Forecaster: Alex Antoshak 


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