Saturday, March 10, 2012

South Plains in Line of Fire for Strong Thunderstorms on Sunday

Here is member 'G' of the WRF member suite at the University of Illinois, depicting some very strong thunderstorms possible in the Southern Plains Sunday afternoon.

A strong storm system will be ejecting northeast across the middle and upper plains, bringing with it a frontal boundary that will be producing showers and thunderstorms. Lack of instability mechanisms means this will not be a major severe weather event.

Because a strong storm system will be moving northeast rather than straight east, a jet streak is likely to form in response to pressure on the jet stream.
The jet stream is like a rubber band- flexible but still has some limits on how far it can stretch. A storm system is like a finger pulling on the rubber band. In response to more pressure from pulling on the rubber band, there will be increased pressure from the rubber band to move the storm system back and thus ease the rubber band. This increased pressure in the atmosphere results in higher jet stream winds.
These higher jet stream winds of over 100 knots may very well fuel some more intense thunderstorms closer to the back end of the storm cluster.

These storms will probably be putting down some gusty winds and occasional small hail. However, as previously mentioned, a lack of instability will keep the storms from getting too strong.


1 comment:

ERN WX said...

30% risk out by SPC for Sunday. Wind will be the primary threat. However, discrete cells ahead of the main line will produce hail and probably tornadoes. A squall line will likely form which will produce damaging winds and perhaps brief, rain-wrapped tornadoes. I expect between 10-30 tornadoes.