April 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Most of the day the area has been under the influence of subsidence and somewhat drier air in the surface to 850 mb layer than forecast. Very little in the way of shower development has occurred this afternoon and expect this trend to continue into at least the early part of the overnight period.
The mid/upper low over the southern plains will continue to move eastward along with an upper level jet max of 80 to 90 knots. As the nose of the jet max overspreads the lower Mississippi Valley region overnight and into Thursday morning thunderstorms should develop across Mississippi and move into Alabama. Confidence on the timing of the development is low but it is possible that the storms may move into West Alabama by daybreak. Also 500 mb flow of 50 to 60 knots will lead to 0-6 km bulk shear of nearly the same magnitude. With favorable deep layer shear profiles supercell structures along with bowing segments are possible along with upscale growth into a storm system. Hail and damaging wind will be the threats. Low level flow is forecast to be rather unimpressive, which should lead to a near zero threat for tornadoes. Areas south of I-20 and west of I-65 are most likely to be affected if an early morning episode of storm development.
The evolution and intensity of convection for the daytime on Thursday is uncertain and will partially depend on what occurs during the morning and the amount of instability and low level moisture that remains. Believe that additional development during the late morning and early afternoon is a good bet with the aid of the upper jet and surface destabilization. As the mid level low approaches, bulk shear of 50 to 60 knots, 500 mb temps of -15 to -18 c and wet bulb zero heights below 10 kft will support an enhanced hail threat with any storms that develop. Damaging winds will also be possible. The threat for severe thunderstorms should come to an end around sunset.
Cooler and drier conditions will move in as the trough swings through. Westerly to northwesterly mid level flow should continue through the remainder of the forecast period which will keep temperatures closer to normal. A stronger trough may dig into the eastern half of the country by early next week and lead to a more significant cool down with lows possibly reaching into the upper 30s by Wednesday morning.
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