Friday, June 3, 2016

Stormy, Maybe Even Tornadic Trouble On U.S. East Coast This Sunday

An enhance risk of severe storms and maybe some
tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic states Sunday. 
Sunday sure is shaping up to be a turbulent day along the East Coast, with what appears to be an upcoming outbreak of severe storms and maybe even some tornadoes in the Middle Atlantic states, and flooding elsewhere.

A storm system that's expected to be quite strong for this time of year is likely to cross the Great Lakes into southeastern Canada.

Below that, extending into the United States, will be an energetic cold front approaching the East Coast.

A lot of parameters seem to be coming into place for what could be a oddly placed tornado outbreak extending most likely through Maryland, the Washington DC area, Virginia and on into North Carolina, and maybe some states surrounding these regions.

The air will become humid. And highly unstable due to that approaching cold front. Winds will veer with height, setting the stage for what NOAA's Storm Prediction Center expects will be some supercell thunderstorms.

Supercells can happen anywhere but are most common in the Midwest and in the spring, in the South. They tend to be long-lasting powerhouse thunderstorms that can rotate, drop huge hailstones, produce very damaging winds and, often, tornadoes.

Not everyone in the area I mentioned will see a tornado. In fact, not everyone there will see a severe thunderstorm.  But the Storm Prediction  Center has already noted an enhanced risk of severe weather for the region, which is a higher level of alert than I usually see two days in advance.

In general, the greatest threat in the Mid-Atlantic will be from very strong, damaging straight line winds, but I think there will be at least a few tornadoes.

Definitely something to worry about in such a heavily populated part of the country.

Further to the south, another tropical storm will try to get going in the Gulf of Mexico. I don't think upper level winds are favorable enough to produce what would be Tropical Storm Colin. But something will get going in the Gulf, even if it's not a true tropical storm.

The upshot is very heavy rain and flooding for Florida from this thing toward Sunday.

New England will be too far north to get severe storms, but it is in for a drenching Sunday and Monday. Normally, I'd be worried about flash flooding in the New England from this, but it's been so dry up there until now that the risk is lower than it otherwise would be.

Still, this storm system is dynamic enough to produce very heavy rain, so there's still a chance of some localized flooding Sunday afternoon or night, or Monday, for much of New England.

Following all this chaos, it will turn much cooler in the Northeast next week than it has been for the past two weeks or so.

Meanwhile,  a heat wave with some record high temperatures is starting along the West Coast and is likely to continue into the weekend.

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