The Storm Prediction Center (or SPC) has put together a map of the severe risk today into tonight for the Mid-Atlantic states. For Wednesday, April 5, 2017 the SPC has forecasted a slight chance for severe weather from southern Virginia into northern North Carolina. An enhanced risk of severe weather has been forecasted for southern North Carolina and northern South Carolina. A high risk has been forecasted for southwestern South Carolina and northeastern Georgia. The main threats for this event are wind damage, large hail and long-lived tornadoes. The severe threat will transition into tonight/ early Thursday morning for eastern Virginia and North Carolina. The threats remain the same with damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.
Eastern North Carolina and Virginia had recently experienced severe weather with three tornadoes touching down in the Virginia Beach area. On March 31, 2017 an EF-2 tornado touched down and left damage in its path.
If you are in the path of these storms, please stay weather alert and know your action plan. The full discussion from the Storm Prediction Center regarding the Mid-Atlantic’s risk for severe weather is as follows:
Organized severe storm development is possible across parts of the
Mid Atlantic Coast region Thursday, mainly prior to the 2-4 pm EDT
time frame. This includes a risk for supercells with potential for
tornadoes, and perhaps a narrow evolving squall line accompanied by
potential for damaging surface gusts.
An amplification within the westerlies is forecast to continue
translating across the central into eastern U.S. during this period,
with large-scale ridging gradually shifting east of the U.S. Rockies
and Canadian Prairies, and downstream troughing progressing across
the Appalachians into the Atlantic Seaboard. The center of a broad
and deep lower/mid tropospheric cyclone embedded within the
troughing is still expected to migrate northeastward, near or just
east of the lower Great Lakes region, with a trailing cold front
surging eastward and southward, off much of the Atlantic coast,
including much of the Florida peninsula, and through much of the
Gulf of Mexico.
Stable conditions associated with cooling and/or drying in the wake
of the front will result in low to negligible convective potential
across much of the nation. However, prior to the frontal passage,
models continue to indicate a window of opportunity for organized
severe storm development across parts of the Mid Atlantic Coast
Low probabilities for thunderstorm activity may also accompany a
couple of short wave perturbations emanating from a strong
mid-latitude Pacific jet, which may continue to nose inland across
northern California toward the northern intermountain region.
...Mid Atlantic Coast region...
Models continue to indicate that the exit region of a 90-110+ kt
cyclonic 500 mb jet streak will nose northeast of the southern
Appalachians through Mid Atlantic coastal areas early Thursday. And
guidance remains suggestive that associated strong forcing for
ascent will provide support for renewed significant surface
cyclogenesis to the east of the central Appalachians. Rapid
deepening of the surface low may be underway by 12Z Thursday near
the Blue Ridge, and strengthening southerly low-level flow within
its warm sector (including up to 50-70+ kt at 850 mb) is expected to
result in the northward advection of moisture characterized by
lower/mid 60s surface dew points within a plume across eastern
Virginia into the vicinity of the low center. Guidance indicates
that rapid deepening of the low will continue into midday and
beyond, with the center possibly tracking across northern Virginia
and central Maryland before frontal occlusion takes place.
Given this environment, including thermodynamic profiles initially
characterized by modestly steep mid-level lapse rates that may
support CAPE of 500-1000 J/kg, there still appears considerable
potential for organized severe storm development. This may include
discrete supercells capable of producing large hail and tornadoes,
and perhaps an evolving convective line accompanied by the risk for
damaging surface gusts, with precipitation loading enhancing the
downward transfer of higher momentum to the surface.
Due to the uncertain influence of the cooler/stable marine layer
near the Chesapeake, greatest confidence in severe weather potential
still appears focused along/east of the Interstate 95 corridor of
southeastern Virginia into northeastern North Carolina during the
late morning through midday hours. However, given the current
forecast of the track and rate of deepening of the surface low, this
threat could develop northward into the Washington D.C and Baltimore
metro areas, and across the Delmarva peninsula/adjacent southern New
Jersey, before the front advances offshore by late afternoon.
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ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell