Monday, September 9, 2013

Tornado? Vermont Could Get Severe Storms Tuesday, Wednesday

Severe thunderstorms? A slight chance of a  tornado? In Vermont? In September? When it's so cool out?
In this image from the Town of Washington Historical
Society, a hoop barn is damaged by a
tornado that hit the town in 2009. There's a very slight
chance of a twister in Vermont Tuesday.  

That's what ran through my head this morning when I looked at the update forecasts as I do every morning.

After all, I woke up to a typically cool, crisp September morning. Some sections of northern New England, including some mountain valleys in Vermont had some frost.

The humidity is low. Skies only have some wispy clouds. Nothing that would portend any exciting weather.

But as I noted yesterday, we're in for some big changes in the weather. A strong warm front will blow through the Northeast tomorrow morning, introducing some summerlike warmth and humidity.

Some of  us might be woken up early tomorrow morning by showers and thunderstorms as the warm front passes, but those storms won't be severe.

After the warm front goes by, areas of northern New York and western Vermont will be under some rare atmospheric conditions. Rare, at least, for our neck of the woods.

The air will have a lot of lift and spin in different layers as you go up. This can easily trigger severe thunderstorms. The weather conditions can also spawn supercells, which are powerful, long lasting and often rotating thunderstorms that sometimes, but not always,  produce tornadoes

Before you go off and panic about the weather for tomorrow,  here's some big caveats.  Something has to trigger the thunderstorms to begin with, and that trigger might not have a big enough presence to set off the storms on Tuesday.

If storms do form, chances are some will be strong to severe, but they might form into a line and not into discrete supercells. That could lessen the chances for any funnel clouds.

Even if supercells do form, there's only a very slight chance a brief tornado would form somewhere in northern New York or the Champlain Valley of Vermont. And if a tornado does somehow manage to develop, it will probably be relatively weak compared to Midwestern tornadoes and won't last long.

The only reason why I'm making a big deal out of tomorrow's forecast is that supercells and brief tornadoes are so rare in this part of the country, especially after the peak of the summer's heat has usually passed.

Even without tornadoes, it's worth keeping an eye out for storms Tuesday. Any afternoon storm could produce damaging winds, hail, dangerous lightning and torrential rains, and you don't want to be out in that.

Not everyone will get a severe storm, but a few spots might,  especially in Vermont's Champlain Valley and in parts of northern New York.

More severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of the Northeast Wednesday. The best chances of the strong storms Wednesday are well south of the Canadian border. Northern New England and New York might, just might miss out on Wednesday's active weather, but that's no guarantee. We'll wait and see on that one.

not be discreterom what is for our area a rare are the line of questioning I had

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