Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Storms

Another summer-like afternoon on tap for Wednesday, but this time storms are in the forecast. As mentioned in the previous post, mid-May is when we enter peak severe weather season for northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

A strong low pressure system will develop in eastern Nebraska in response to a trough or dip in the jet stream in the upper levels of the atmosphere. This along with increasing jet wind/strength over eastern Iowa brings the threat not only storms, but the potential for strong to severe storms. More 'ingredients' are coming together to support stronger storms from Iowa east into northern Illinois.

Once the atmosphere's 'cap' is broken, storms will develop over Iowa and Missouri and quickly move to the northeast. We want to watch for storms to approach the area and move through around 3-10pm. These storms will be fast movers with the potential for heavy rain, hail, strong wind, and even an isolated tornado. The hail threat is enhanced a bit more with strong updrafts and downdrafts possible.

If storms stay in a super cell mode, the tornado threat would go up, while if they form into a line, strong straight line winds will be a concern. While severe storms are not certain, it is a good day to stay weather aware and have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings should we get them!

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