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Gusty storms a possibility for Tuesday evening

10 months 1 day 9 hours ago February 02, 2016 Feb 2, 2016 Tuesday, February 02 2016 February 02, 2016 6:06 AM in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

A cold front will bring showers and potentially a few strong thunderstorms on Tuesday before much cooler air returns to the region.

THE FORECAST:

Today and Tonight: A mostly cloudy and mild beginning to Tuesday is expected. With continued southerly winds of 10-15mph, temperatures will make it into the mid 70s. While scattered showers are expected early, most rain activity will be reserved for the afternoon and evening. A line of showers and thunderstorms is expected to organize and push into the region during the second half of the day. Within this line, there could be a few strong wind gusts and frequent lightning. As the front slows this evening, heavy rain could persist for a few hours creating ponding of water in some spots. With all of that in mind, the late commute home from work and school could be a bit messy. A general west to east clearing is expected overnight with temperatures falling back into the 50s.

Up Next: By Wednesday Morning, rain will be over. Shortly thereafter, clouds will break with sun returning by afternoon. Cooler northerly breezes of 5-10mph will keep highs close to 60 degrees. The nighttime hours will bring clear skies and even cooler temperatures with lows in the mid 30s. Thursday and Friday will be sunny with highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 30s.     

 

THE SCIENCE:


Here is a full video analysis from Meteorologist Josh Eachus:


Forecast Discussion: A broad and vigorous trough is gliding east across the United States while the associated surface low is lifting northeast from Kansas. A cold front is set up from Oklahoma southward into Eastern Texas. Ahead of this system, dew points are quite high for Early February with many locations returning numbers in the mid 60s. Temperatures are well above average also, and forecast to be in the mid 70s this afternoon. Surface based instability will be modest while helicity is once again expected to be high—another high shear, low instability environment that leaves us with a questionable severe weather threat. Low-level lapse rates are not that impressive into the afternoon, however the uplift generated by an approaching cold front should be enough to lift buoyant air into the far less stable mid-levels. This will kick off a line of showers and thunderstorms. As this line advances eastward, some storms could tap into the plentiful shear and develop enough rotation for an isolated tornado, but it is more likely that a dry pocket in the mid-levels is mixed down to the surface to create gusty winds. The Storm Prediction Center has an area from Baton Rouge to New Orleans northeastward under a “slight risk” for severe storms, or a 15% chance of a severe storm within 25 miles of a given point. Overall, the more favorable ingredients appear to be along and north of I-12—especially into Mississippi. This is where the strongest jet stream will be in place with a little more mid-level spin available via the 500mb trough. High resolution models slow precipitation along the front this evening which could create a prolonged period of heavy rain, making some localized street flooding a possibility. Models disagree somewhat as to when the cold front will fully clear the area. The GFS is a little faster with the Euro holding some showers around for early Wednesday Morning. Regardless, sunshine and cooler temperatures are on tap for the remainder of the week. Forecast models diverge even more into the weekend with the GFS showing an impressive Gulf of Mexico low bringing rain to the area Sunday. The Euro is faster and weaker with some passing clouds or a shower Saturday Night. Stay tuned as we keep an eye on this next feature. Beyond that, the coldest air of the season may be on tap for next week.

--Josh

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