SPRING FEVER: Record temperatures and a chance of storms Friday night
The winter of 2017 has so far been the winter that never was, and that trend looks to continue on Friday. The map above shows a cold front marching across the nation's mid-section. Ahead of that front, winds come gusting in out of the southwest. This will be enough to push temperatures into the mid to upper 70s, which would annihilate the old record of 72°.
As this front continues to move east, the energy from it will tap into the warm and humid air that stretches from the Tennessee River Valley all the way up to the Ohio River Valley. This will be enough to get a line of showers and storms going Friday night.
So, what do we get out of this?
Right now, the Storm Prediction Center has the bulk of severe weather confined to the Ohio River Valley. However, we are in what's called a 'Marginal Risk' of severe weather late Friday night/Saturday morning.
This means that any severe thunderstorms (wind gusts of 58 mph or greater and hail one inch or greater) will be isolated. While this doesn't have the makings of an outbreak for our area, this is something we still have to consider.
We've decided to break things down into a severe weather checklist. Instability promotes thunderstorm growth, and the amount of that is questionable due to the timing of any storms (late at night). We know there will be wind shear, (wind speed and direction change with height) and that helps to sustain storms. The amount of rotation is questionable, meaning the tornado threat is low but not zero. Lastly, with a cold front around - we know there's enough energy in the atmosphere to create some precipitation.
What do we take out of that? The Storm Prediction Center's 'Marginal Risk' is sufficient for our area. Our severe threat, mainly after midnight into early Saturday morning, is isolated. Main threats would be high winds, downpours and lightning.
Being that the chance of storms comes at night, there's an additional few things to keep in mind.
1. Have a way to get information, should a severe thunderstorm warning be issued for your area.
2. Expect thunderstorms to have a little extra boom to them. We've explained why that's the case, using drums, previously!