Thursday, August 22, 2013

Today's Northeast Thunderstorms: Meh!

A cold front is coming into the Northeastern United States today, which will at least temporarily rout the very warm and humid air sitting over the region.
A thunderstorm erupts over Vermont
in 2011. Thunderstorms in the Northeast
today are expected to be mostly not
too severe  

A change in airmass like this can often lead to severe thunderstorms, but we're starting to get past the time of year when such storms develop. The sun's angle is lower, the amount of heat available to generate storms is down a bit, so the biggest storms are a little less likely.

Severe storms are still quite possible this time of year, of course, if there's enough energy in the atmosphere as a cold front plows into August Dog Day air.  For instance, severe storms hit parts of Vermont around this time of year in 2011. And there is an occasional tornado in the Northeast this time of year.

Today's cold front doesn't have all the right ingredients to promote a widespread severe storm outbreak.  The upper level winds aren't that strong. The wind doesn't change directions that badly with elevation, so it'll be hard to get a lot of violent storms.

Quite a few places will hear thunder, and one or two spots might get a marginally severe storm. But this cold front is going to be pretty quick and benign, so don't expect huge amounts of drama.

This cold front is setting us up for a great weekend, with cooler, drier, sunny weather expected for the most part over the next three days.

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