Sunday, July 27, 2014

Once Again, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic States To Be Slammed With Severe Weather

The Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states can't seem to catch a break this summer.
Areas in and near the yellow are at risk of severe
storms today. The area in red has the highest risk
of high winds, tornadoes and hail.  

Since mid-May, really, that region has been slammed hard and often by severe storms packing damaging winds, huge hail, floods and a occasional tornadoes.

They've been as bad or worse than the Great Plains often are.  

And another severe outbreak, possible one of the biggest of the year, is set to strike the area again today.

The problem this spring and summer has been some unusually deep dips in the jet stream centered over the Great Lakes that have set up repeatedly.

It's the same pattern that caused the cold winter in the East back in January through March.

This time of year south winds bring lots of heat and humidity to the region, and the unusually active jet stream adds instability and energy to the atmosphere, so you get those big storms.

This latest dip in the jet stream setting up now is a doozy. It's got a lot of energy to play with, so there you go.

The National Storm Prediction Center thinks the biggest concern today is in southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky and much of West Virginia. 

There could even be some strong tornadoes in this area, not the weaker EF-1s or EF-0s that pack winds of "only" 80-100 mph or so.  A few of today's tornadoes might get stronger than that.

There's also a flash flood watch up today for southern Ohio and West Virginia, since many of the thunderstorms will produce incredibly intense rains.

In any event, Kentucky and West Virginia, and for that matter a whole area from southern New England, back west to Indiana and south to Tennessee and North Carolina are in for scattered areas of destructive thunderstorm winds, huge hail, and flash flooding.  
A thunderstorm looms over St. Albans, Vermont last
week. More stormy weather is due in likey in the
eastern United States today and Monday.  

More to the north, up here in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, a few storms might get kind of strong today, but nothing like the chaos more to the south.

This big dip in the jet stream will spin up a storm by Monday morning that will have some characteristics of a winter storm.  Don't panic, though. No snow, sleet or freezing rain. Just lots of plain rain.

From western New York into northwestern Vermont, it looks like the storm will produce a steady, drenching rain. Kind of like a winter storm in February would cause a day long snowfall.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if western and northern New York, and the northern half of Vermont get more than two, even three inches of rain between this Sunday morning and Monday evening, though official forecasts call for less than that.

There is a flash flood watch in western New York. In Vermont, it's been slightly dry lately, so at this point I don't think we have much to worry about from flash flooding. But keep an eye out. Unexpectedly heavy downpours are still possible, which could cause some local flooding in Vermont between now and Monday evening.

In the southeastern half of New England, there could be more strong storms and supercells Monday, depending upon how much instability gets going. There could even be a few brief tornadoes on Monday east of the Connecticut River Valley.

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