Weather Wisdom

Tornado watch through 11 p.m. this evening

4PM Update
A tornado watch has been issued for a large area of southern New England through 11 p.m. While a large area is under the watch, this doesn't mean there will be a lot of tornadoes. It does mean conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form in some severe thunderstorms. Know that you might have to take cover this evening, and if you are in the path of a tornado and a warning is issued get into an interior area of your home, preferably a basement, and stay away from windows as they can be blown out in a tornado.

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2PM Update

A first round of showers and storms has moved through the area. This first light brought one severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado warning. It's important to take the warnings seriously because although there might not be a confirmed siting of a tornado, if there is rotation in the clouds, these things can quickly reach the ground.

The image below shows one computer model projection for early this evening between about 6 p.m and 8 p.m.

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The atmosphere will continue to heat up as a cold front approaches from the west. This will ignite more storms this afternoon and first part of the evening. Whether or not they become severe is still possible, but not definitive. The elements of severe weather that are possible are far from certain. I heard folks at the gym talking about huge hail and wind as if it was going to happen. The likelihood is it won't happen to your area, but since it's possible, that's why the severe thunderstorm watch is in place. Just keep an eye to the sky and your cell phone or computer. Remember, warnings go out for larger areas than the storms actually hit. This is to cover the movement and changing intensity of the storm. I'll update more specifically on Twitter @growingwisdom as things change this evening. Enjoy the afternoon.

Morning Blog 9AM Below

Unless you havenít watched, read or listened to a weather forecast the past 24 hours, thereís no way you donít know there is a possibility of severe weather today. Every meteorologist is talking about it, which makes me nervous. I think the days that often seem most likely for severe weather are the ones something surprises us.

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What Is A Severe Storm?
Hereís the reality about todayís chance for storms. Most of us are going to see some shower activity. Some of us will get a thunderstorm, but few of us will see severe weather. Severe thunderstorms, like most things meteorological have a defined set of criteria. In this case itís a thunderstorm producing hail that is at least 1 inch in diameter or larger, and/or wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, and/or a tornado. Although lightning can be deadly, the NWS doesn't use it to define a severe thunderstorm. Most areas wonít meet this criteria and is why most places wonít see severe weather.

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During the next few hours warm and humid air will move north and be in place when a cold front comes through this afternoon. Our biggest severe outbreaks often come when the atmosphere is able to heat up and be lifted by something like a cold front. While there are pieces of the severe weather puzzle in favor of development, there are other issues that will tend to negate the storms.

The computer models are indicating a line of showers and storms to move through during the early afternoon. If and when this happens, it can often take some of the energy needed for the late day storms away. The loop below is a forecast by one model. What I notice is the first batch of storms and showers moves through between 1 and 4 p.m. and is followed by a lesser organized area this evening. Itís the second push of storms where severe weather is mostly likely to occur, but this second area is also less a sure possibility.

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There is a Red Sox game this evening and with showers and storms in the area, it could be delayed, but I think it will be played. Humidity levels will be high early this evening and fall by morning to comfortable levels.

The next couple of days look dry and comfortably warm. There will be low levels of humidity the rest of the week as well. Fridayís weather is cooler, but dry. Then the weekend becomes unsettled and chilly for late June with some periods of rain likely. While I donít expect a washout this weekend, Sunday might be quite wet at times.

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