There’s little doubt that last year 2011 was know among meteorologists and the public as the year of the tornado. Mainly because of the number of tornadoes but also the extreme death tolls driven by large outbreaks in April and May. This year I have noticed a different trend in the severe weather numbers. Hail!
I’m keeping a close eye on the storm system down in Louisiana and Mississippi right now. This system has brought flooding rains and severe storms to Texas already and is doing the same tonight along the Mississippi river. I expect the system to weaken a bit but there will be enough energy left with this that it bears watching for some strong storms. I don’t expect any tornado threat right now unless the triple point track right over us.
Unfortunately all the ingredients are coming together for severe weather here in the Carolinas today and again tonight. There will be 2 waves of storms we need to watch out for. The threat today will be just slightly lower than the one tonight but in both cases the shear profiles in the atmosphere will be conductive for supercell thunderstorms. These rotating storms not only can produce tornadoes which is likely but also large hail and damaging winds. Here’s a quick video run down of the set-up and timing. This a very dangerous situations please take all watches and warnings very seriously.
Video Part I
Video Briefing Part II
SPC Outlook Maps
This severe weather outbreak will go down in the records books as one of the most widespread wind storms to affect the Carolinas since maybe hurricane Hugo in 1989. This event was what we call a derecho which is a term for a long lived wind storm caused by a line of fast moving thunderstorms. Sometimes it can also be referred to as a landcane due to the similarity of a fast moving hurricane.