April 26: Borderline Severe Threat Today

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WEATHER

Every Friday this month has brought rain to central North Carolina, and this is the third straight Friday with at least some potential for severe weather. While this will NOT be a repeat of last week’s significant severe weather threat, we could see some strong storms today…just plan on staying weather-aware!

The rain will be with us off-and-on throughout the day — showers and a few non-severe storms this morning, then the most-widespread and strongest storms this afternoon. The HRRR model’s radar simulation from 9:00am through 9:00pm shows that pattern…and also shows that everything will be out of here by sunset this evening:I’ve been using the word “borderline” to describe today’s severe weather threat, because so many of the ingredients on our severe thunderstorm recipe card won’t be all that favorable:While temperatures will warm up to the 70s in between the showers and storms……that’s really not warm enough to significantly boost the “storm fuel” in the atmosphere. The Storm Prediction Center has included most of central North Carolina in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5) of severe thunderstorms today:But the SPC’s own forecast model shows the best mix of severe weather ingredients off to our east and northeast already by 2:00 this afternoon:The same forecast model shows only a 10% chance that the Supercell Composite Parameter (a statistic that measures those severe ingredients) even reaches 3 in central North Carolina…that’s the threshold for a more-organized severe weather event:

With all of that in mind, some questions you may be asking…

  • Is severe weather even possible?
    • Sure. It’s April. ANY storm could become severe this time of year.
  • Okay, is severe weather likely?
    • Honestly, I don’t think it will be likely for most of our viewing area. Areas along and east of I-95 will have the greatest threat, but I’d be much more concerned if I lived in southeastern Virginia or closer to the coast of North Carolina.
  • When will the worst storms occur?
    • This one is tricky. The best mix of severe weather ingredients will be near us through early afternoon…but the most-widespread storms will probably occur later in the afternoon. Think of it this way:
      • Through early afternoon = not many storms, but they could be the strongest ones.
      • Mid to late afternoon = more storms, not as likely they become severe.
  • Is this going to be another outbreak?
    • Very unlikely. I can’t rule out a tornado warning, but damaging winds will be the main concern from the strongest storms. We expect numerous storms, a FEW of which could prompt severe thunderstorm warnings.
  • Could you be wrong?
    • Heck yeah. (Quem Deus Vult Perdere, Dementat Prius.) This is the best analysis I can do with the data available, but there’s always some uncertainty. That why we emphasize the importance of staying weather-aware, even with a borderline threat.

Once the storms move out tonight, the weekend looks really nice! Dry and sunny on Saturday, just the slightest chance of a passing shower on Sunday…I wouldn’t worry about it:Nice weather will prevail most of next week, with warm temperatures waming up into the 80s again for the first few days of May. We could also see a pop-up shower or storm Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, but we’ll worry about that next week…

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