Saturday, July 11, 2009

Risks Upgraded

There have been a couple of changes in the forecast this morning as things area already rapidly evolving. Probably the most significant of these changes is that, instead of all the clouds and rain the models had been forecasting for us this morning, skies are clear. This is causing the atmosphere to destabilize quicker and more intensely than had been forecasted. Another thing to look at is the radar. Thunderstorms are widespread just west of Buffalo, and already, there are some storms popping out ahead of this main the question of whether or not storms will form is out the window.

The Storm Prediction Center has us in a 30-30-5% risk for wind-hail-tornadoes, respectively. All three of those are on the upper end of their 'slight' risk category. After looking at a couple things, I moved my hail and win up to moderate, and kept tornadoes at slight. Since storms are already firing, I moved the thunderstorm risk all the way up, which the NWS in Binghamton also did on their threat outlooks.

Here is what I am expecting for each threat:

Thunderstorms: Extreme-
Widespread thunderstorms can be expected with almost everywhere getting a storm. Frequent lightning should accompany the storms, and a fair number of them will likely be severe.

Wind: Moderate-
With the sun out this morning and strong upper level winds, wind damage is likely somewhere in Central New York, with some possibility of widespread damaging winds. 3 to 7 damaging wind reports are possible in the Grotonweather forecast area (Tompkins, S. Cayuga and Cortland Counties), with more elsewhere in Central New York. Should a widespread wind event evolve, this will be increased to high.

Hail: Moderate-
With extra instablity from the sun this morning, and indications of favorable hail formation from both the models, and current observations, hail could become a major factor today. 3 to 7 severe (0.75" of bigger) hail reports in the forecast area is possible, with more elsewhere in Central New York. Hail sizes should stay below 1.5", but an isolated storm could produce up to 2" hail. An upgrade to a high risk is not expected at this time.

Tornadoes: Slight-
Little changes to the tornado forecast have been made. A tornado somewhere in Western and Central New York seems almost likely. Multiple tornadoes could be possible, but this certainty isn't enough for a moderate risk at the time. However, with strong southeast winds at the surface, winds at low levels out of the southwest, and upper level winds coming in from the west, the threat for tornadoes will need to be watched closely.


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  2. This is causing the atmosphere to destabilize quicker and more intensely than had been fore casted.

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  3. I like severe thunderstorms. They are fun to try to forecast........

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