While damage surveys continue from this Monday’s tornado outbreak, we begin to look ahead to the upcoming weekend, which may hold another severe weather threat as we roll on into Sunday afternoon and evening.
A few showers for Saturday
Ahead of Sunday’s storm system, we will see a few showers beginning very early Saturday morning through mid-afternoon as a weak cold front sinks southward through the area, stalling out to our south overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. Temperatures will generally run much warmer on Saturday, especially ahead of the front, with humidity falling off late in the day in the wake of said front.
Sunday’s severe threat
Once again, we are keeping a close eye on the weather Sunday into Sunday night for the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms in the area. A lot will ride on how far north low pressure tracks across the region during the day, as well as how far north a warm front can get. As of today’s outlook, the Storm Prediction Center has outlined much of the Tri-County area in a slight risk of severe weather, with an enhanced risk of severe weather generally to our southwest.
There’s still plenty of disagreement on the finer details in the guidance. The ECMWF (Euro) is further north and slower than the rest of the guidance members, keeping a severe weather threat in the area through Monday morning, but much of the rest of the guidance members generally paint this as a Sunday evening event, perhaps lasting into a bit of the overnight.
Once again, damaging wind gusts are the primary concern, but model soundings do suggest an atmosphere favorable for a few spin-up tornadoes. Some hail may also be a possibility in the strongest storms. The good news is that the atmospheric setup for this Sunday is not looking close to the parameters that I was seeing last Sunday/early Monday morning, but I would be on guard regardless.
Given the spread in the guidance, confidence in the details of this event is low. What I can ascertain right now is that strong storms are possible between Sunday afternoon and very early Monday morning. As guidance continues to resolve its differences, higher-resolution data becomes available, and trends become more apparent, confidence in the forecast should improve either way.
What to do today and tomorrow
- Look over your severe weather preparation plan once again. Monday morning, for better or worse, gave many of us a good exercise in sheltering for severe weather. Use that experience to refine and improve your plan.
- Make sure you can receive severe weather warnings. If you were in a tornado warning area Monday morning and did not receive your smartphone alerts, double-check your phone’s settings to ensure that those alerts are active. If they were, then consider downloading a local news app — any of the ones from the local broadcast stations will do — for free to enable location-based severe weather alerts. Also, if you have a NOAA Weather Radio, be sure it’s on the right frequency for your area. Make sure your alerts can wake you, too, in case severe weather becomes an overnight affair.
- Stay tuned to forecast updates. As mentioned above, many of the details of Sunday’s forecast have yet to be resolved. The forecast is fluid, and thus you should continue to check back throughout the weekend.
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