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Severe Weather is Possible Monday; large hail and damaging winds main threats

Today, there continues to be a little higher threat than our typical severe weather threats; the Storm Prediction Center has a level 3/5 (Enhanced Risk) for most of Central and parts of Eastern NC and a level 1-2/5 risk for the rest of the state. We have the potential for all modes of severe weather, but the main threat will be a couple of storms with damaging winds and large hail up to baseball size. I can’t rule out a brief tornado, but that threat is not very high. I’ll explain this complex threat below and why the threat appears to be greater than we’ve seen so far this year, but this will help you not panic.

Cliff Notes: -Areas of clouds and a few showers are possible this morning, but no severe weather. -Clearing skies by the afternoon -Storms are expected to develop somewhere between Winston Salem/Greensboro to just west of Raleigh, areas west of Winston Salem into Hickory and the mountains; the threat really does not look high. The greatest concern for storms appears to be Winston Salem/Greensboro East. -Storms that do develop will merge into a line; they could pack a punch. -Damaging winds and large hail is the main threat, but an isolated storm could have a spin-up tornado. I repeat, the Tornado threat is not very high; high winds and large hail will be the main threat. -As with most severe weather, not everyone will see severe weather; there will be some folks that have severe storms and other that be like, well what was this. -No reason to panic at all; I’m sure you’ll see scary posts and stuff about how horrible it is going to be. Don’t fall for that crap. -Timing: Storms develop between 4-6PM and push east through about 2AM.




WHAT: An unusually strong upper-level trough will move eastward through the Appalachians on Monday; ahead of it atmospheric ingredients are expected to become primed for strong to severe storms across North Carolina. We will have surface dewpoints in the 60s to near 70° across the state, it is expected to be a very hot day today with temps in the upper 80s low 90s heat index values near 100° in spots. CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, is the amount of fuel available to develop a thunderstorm that is expected to be very high; we usually only need 1,000-1,500 j/kg Monday, is is expected to appear 4,000 j/kg in spots across the state. Lapses rate are strong with cold temperatures aloft, which would support the potential for large hail in any storms that develop. Wind shear will be zipping along; all ingredients are coming together for Severe storms. However, there remains some uncertainty, so we will have to continue to watch exactly how morning showers/clouds impact the development of severe weather.

THREATS: Thunderstorms are expected to develop across Western NC during the early afternoon; they will have the potential to produce damaging winds, large hail, and even a brief tornado can’t be ruled out. Models show the storms forming into more of a line by mid to late afternoon/evening as they push east. This, to me, scrams mainly a damaging winds/large hail threat with a brief tornado mixing as they push east. The greatest area for Severe Weather appears to be across Central NC. A Level 3/5 risk has been posted for Central NC; we’ve not seen that threat this year. A level 3/5 (Enhanced Risk) means several storms will be strong to severe. Heavy rainfall is likely with any storms that move through your community.

: The timing of storms will be afternoon and evening, Western NC forming around 3-5PM and pushing east through 5PM-2AM, clearing the coast by the late evening early morning; the threat will decrease some as the sun goes, thus the lower level 2/5 for areas east. It is worth noting a few storms are possible Monday morning across the mountains; an isolated storm could be strong to severe.










The Bottom Line Today will start off cloudy, follow by hot conditions; storms will develop and become widespread by afternoon and evening while pushing east. This is the highest severe weather threat so far this year, and it is coming in June not really the most common time for it. There remains some uncertainty, but I believe we will see several severe storms. Just because the threat is higher does not mean everyone will see severe weather, but any storms that move through could pack a punch. This is just a rough update, I’ll be monitoring through the day and will update as needed. Stay weather-aware, Monday but don’t panic and think it is the end all be all. If you have a plan in place and are ready to go, you’ll be fine.

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