A Steamy and then Stormy Sunday. Severe Weather Possible.
A strong spring storm system responsible for an onslought of severe weather across the Plains States the last couple of days will bring us some drastic changes to our weather as we head into your Sunday.
Warming winds ahead of this system will begin to arrive by morning as temps surge through the 60's, and 70's and into the 80's by midday for most of the area. The exception will be along the immediate lake shore of course.
These temps will represent the warmest readings we've seen since early October of last year. The soutwesterly breeze responsible for this change will also shove ample amounts of low level moisture our way resulting in a real summer feel to our weather. This all sounds good, except all this "heat" and humidity looks to result in afternoon thunderstorms.
Could they become severe?
As I explained in my blog post from a couple days ago, not only were thunderstorms likely, but some of them could become strong.
The latest data is increasing that threat with the NAM model showing a large amount of instability developing over parts of our area including along the Lake Counties. Instability as measured by CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) looks to be on the order of 2,000 - 3,000 units. That is more than enough to fuel some locally very rowdy storms.
Also as mentioned in my blog post from a couple days ago I'll be watching the arrival of a "low level jet". A ribbon of fast moving air that can strengthen these thunderstorms and increase the liklihood that they will produce severe weather. Today's model runs are bringing in faster winds aloft now and also earlier in the day. This will allow them to interact with daytime heating along with peak instability.
So what does this mean?
In a nutshell, I think we are primed for strong to severe thunderstorms Sunday afternoon/early evening capable of producing damaging winds and hail. While I don't think we'll have to worry with anything widespread, I also think there is the possibility that a few of these could become tornadic as wind profiles will be favorable for rotating thunderstorms.
The Storm Prediction Center upgraded much of the region including all of Western New York into the Slight Risk of severe weather category for tomorrow.
A hi-res NAM futurecast with a timeline can be found in the gallery at the bottom.
I'll be monitoring the situation closely and we'll be sure to provide WxLIVE coverage as storms develop. I'll see you then. Stay tuned.