Severe weather season delivers a couple thunderstorm chances this week

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We’ve made it into the heart of spring, which means we’re also into spring severe weather season, which continues for the next month to six weeks. High temperatures in the 80+ range are 5-7 degrees above normal, so with a couple of frontal systems moving through this week, we’ll need to keep an eye on the threat for strong storms. 


The first of those threats, and the one with the highest potential, arrives Tuesday evening. Ahead of the front, breezy south wind and an approaching upper level trough will bring high moisture levels into the region from the Gulf of Mexico. As the front approaches, thunderstorms are likely to erupt to our west and move east, reaching the area late afternoon to evening. 
The European model predicts atmospheric moisture content over the area to be near 200% of normal on Tuesday evening, more than enough to support strong to severe storms and locally heavy rain. (WeatherBell)
Strong wind at the surface (expect gusts as high as 40 mph Tuesday) and aloft, along with available storm fuel created by temperatures near 80 and dewpoints in the mid 60s, should allow the storms to be strong to severe, especially in areas near and west of the river, including the metro. For now, a Level 2 (Slight) risk of severe weather is forecast for this area, but will probably be tweaked a bit in the next 48 hours. The primary threat will be damaging wind, but a couple of tornadoes can’t be ruled out. The threat should end before midnight as it currently stands. Stay in touch the next couple days.


Looking beyond Tuesday night’s front, the atmosphere won’t cool off much and moisture levels return to high levels by Thursday as the next front heads our way. The severe threat appears lower with this front, despite it being more potent in terms of trailing cool air, as there will not be the dynamics created by strong low pressure accompanying it. It’s still several days out, so we’ll keep an eye on it for any changes. Behind that front, much cooler air arrives for next weekend, with the potential for additional showers, as highs drop back to the 60s for a few days.
The European model simulated infrared satellite imagery shows the potential for a line of thunderstorms along a cold front on Thursday evening. (WeatherBell)

Erik Proseus

MWN Meteorologist

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