Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some Severe Storms in New England Today

Most of Vermont and the resto of
New England will see thunderstorms
today, and some might have
strong, damaging winds.  
Dawn broke this morning under mostly clear, if hazy skies, a good south wind and lots of humidity around my house in St. Albans, Vermont.  

Those kind of conditions mean there will be some pretty good thunderstorms around today as a cold front bumps into this warm, humid air.

Morning sunshine will also help make the air unstable, aiding and abetting the storms.

There were already a few showers and storms approaching New York State's St. Lawrence Valley as of 6:30 a.m.

The cold front is on New England's doorstep, and will come through northern New York before storms can really fire up, so there won't be many strong storms there.

The storms will really get going in eastern New York and Vermont early this afternoon and then they will march east and intensify.

To be honest, while almost everyone in the northern two thirds of New England will get showers and storms today, only a few communities will actually get bonafide severe storms.

There's not a HUGE amount of energy in the atmosphere to fuel a widespread severe outbreak, so only some of the storms will get nasty.

The area with the biggest risk of severe storms is the southeastern half of Vermont, most of New Hampshire, the western half of Maine, the Albany, N.Y. Capitol District and the western half of Massachusetts.

The principal threat from any severe storms that do form is briefly strong, straight line winds with gusts over 60 mph. The risk of tornadoes is very low to nonexistent.

The atmosphere is warm to a great height, so that would make it hard for large hail to make it down to the ground. Still, one or two storms could produce hail big enough to damage crops and ding cars.

It's really humid out there, so a lot of these thunderstorms, even the ones that aren't severe, will produce very torrential rains. That could cause issues with street flooding in urban areas.

But since it hasn't rained much in the past week, and today's storms will move right along and not dawdle, I don't expect any real widespread flash flooding.

People in New York and Vermont will notice it start to get less humid later today and that dry air will spread in to the rest of the Northeast by tomorrow. We then get into a few nice days.

A slow moving weather system sets off the chances for showers and storms Sunday through at least Tuesday,  but from this vantage point, it doesn't look like those storms will be severe.

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