(June 18, 2014) – An extremely unstable airmass is sitting on top of the state today leading to the storm prediction center issuing a slight risk of severe weather for northern parts of the state. A quick look at sounding data this morning shows CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) hitting 4000 in some areas! Generally a CAPE number of 1500 or more is indicative of the potential for thunderstorm development. The 4000 CAPE is a number generally associated with large destructive tornadoes if other elements are also within limits.
Thankfully those other limits are not close to being hit today so we are not expecting a big tornado outbreak. Also of note is the fact that the state is not seeing any type of cap (a term used by us when talking about a stable area in the atmosphere) throughout the day today, keeping storms in check. Storms unencumbered by any type of early resistance should develop as soon as energy becomes available. This generally means they will burn themselves out relatively quickly.
That being said we are under a slight risk of severe weather today. Gusty winds will be the main concern today followed by hail. Generally large CAPE values are not conducive to large hail development due to instability being so high that hail stones aren’t juggled up and down in the hail growth region. The storm is literally too strong and sends hail out of the storm before it has a chance to become large.
We will have another chance to hit 90° again today. Indianapolis didn’t hit 90 yesterday but a number of other communities including Muncie did make it there. Indianapolis hit 88°, which is the high for the year so far for the city. For the rest of the week temperatures will remain in the upper 80s to perhaps 90 degrees. Our weather will remain unsettled as we will continue to have a weak stalled boundary around along with plenty of heat and humidity. Next work week we will see some relief from the sticky conditions of the past week as dew points will dip from the upper 60s we will see today to a more reasonable low 60s. Have a good day and stay safe out there.