If the snow and ice yesterday wasn’t bad enough, Mother Nature has yet another curve ball to send our way before the work week ends. We are looking at a chance of severe storms on Thursday and potential flooding following the event. To say the least, don’t let your guard down this week!
Temperatures will come in at seasonal levels for the next two afternoons. This means that highs will range from 42-45° on Tuesday and Wednesday. You can expect to see some melting snowfall in this time but the snow won’t go away too quickly over the next 48 hours. The snow pack will melt a little bit more on Thursday as temperatures climb into the mid to upper 50s! Add on top of that some steady to even heavy showers and you are looking at a good setup to melt some snow. But all of this melting plus up to 1″ of rainfall on Thursday could lead to flooding issues in our state. But as stated above, that’s not it on Thursday–a strong line of showers and thunderstorms are also expected in the evening prompting a chance for severe storms.
An area of low pressure will develop in Colorado late Wednesday night and this will move across the Plains states quickly. As this low takes a bit of a turn to the northeast, it will advance across Missouri and Illinois. This brings the warm front through central Indiana and puts us in the warm wedge of this system. This warm front could bring in some showers and possibly freezing rain on Thursday morning. Pockets of dense fog cannot be ruled out as well. That warm wedge will bring in temperatures in the mid to upper 50s. We aren’t expecting to see much sunshine on Thursday because of thick clouds still lingering across our state, so we won’t build energy for these storms in the more traditional way we are used to. But the warm air alone will provide some minimal CAPE values. CAPE stands for “convective available potential energy” and is one of the many ingredients needed to form severe storms. What will be more pronounced on Thursday will be shear in the atmosphere. This is a change in wind speed and/or direction with height in the atmosphere. Generally low CAPE and high shear events typically play out as damaging winds events. But an isolated tornado cannot be ruled to as well embedded within this line of fast-moving storms.
As for the timing of this system, it’s a little too far out to know exactly when this will hit your particular town. That will come more into focus on Wednesday. But what we do have is a window between 4-10 PM on Thursday for the development of storms that will move quickly across our area. These storms will tap into high winds speeds aloft and mix down to the surface as damaging winds gusts as it passes throughout our viewing area. This is something we will be actively tracking and keeping you informed about throughout the entire afternoon and evening hours Thursday. As you can see in the map above, the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) already has us in the “slight risk” for severe storms area. They specifically mention a heightened risk of damaging winds for our area and also mention the isolated tornado threat.
The snow pack will start to melt over the next few days and that snow pack will add plenty of water to our area streams and rivers. We could also see 1″ of rain on Thursday so this too would add more water to those rivers, streams and low-lying areas. This is why the National Weather Service along with the FOX59 Weather Team is keeping an eye out for potential flooding later in the work week.