Severe Weather Seems Likely Sunday Night

8PM Saturday 1/21/11

Quick update here to give you the scoop on some of the data I’ve been looking at this afternoon for tomorrow night’s potential severe weather episode.

For a video explanation and forecast of what to expect, I have posted a video outlining the storm potential in detail here.

I want to turn your attention to a couple weather model graphics. This really outlines nicely the situation we are dealing with right now… and how it may not matter that temperatures and dew points do not get as high as what we typically require to see severe weather in this part of the world.


Simulated Radar and Temperatures:

MODEL 1: Strong Squall Line 1AM Monday

Model 1: Temperatures Reach Lower 60s

Note that temperatures warm to the lower 60s on model #1. This is certainly a concern… meaning that there would be instability at the surface to support possible tornado formation and sustain a strong wind front with gusts from 60 to 80 mph… as shown by the simulated radar above.

What if temperatures were to be cooler, like what some models are suggesting (middle 50s)?


Simulated Radar and Temperatures:

On this one, let’s talk temperatures first.

Model 2: Temperatures Reach Lower to Mid 50s

Much cooler, from 50 to 55 degrees instead of lower 60s.

This would inherently weaken the line of convection, right?

Model 2: Simulated Radar 1AM Monday

Uh-oh. The storms are showing up on a linear, severe basis even in the cooler conditions outlined above! It would thus appear temperatures at or above 55 degrees will support the widespread severe potential… and most models agree that is an attainable temperature.

Why will it not require the relative warmth that is usually needed to sustain the storms?

GFS Jet Stream Conditions

If this looks familiar, it is because I used this map last night in the blog post at that time. The strong diverging air ahead of this storm will allow for robust rising motions along the cold frontal boundary… which will punch the storms into a layer of the atmosphere where temperatures are more conducive to sustain convection.

I’ll say one thing… this is going to come fast… and exit just as quickly. Storm motions may exceed 50 or 60 mph which makes it very difficult to pinpoint or prepare for small tornado spin-ups. Keep this in mind and determine how you will be awakened for the weather warnings to keep your family safe.

You may want to consider WeatherCall… it’s on our website at More info is there. We call you when severe weather approaches your hometown.

Timing still looks to be 12AM – 5AM.



About Jared Heil

Meteorologist at WLKY-TV in Louisville, KY. Catch Jared's forecast Saturday nights at 6 & 11PM. Jared Heil has always lived in the Louisville area. He was born and raised in Henryville, Ind., about 20 minutes north of downtown Louisville. Jared is thrilled to be forecasting the weather in his hometown. Jared hopes that his knowledge of the Greater Louisville area, stemming from living here his entire life, will prove to be helpful during times of active weather. You may see Jared at the University of Louisville, where he is continuing his studies in the Atmospheric Science program. Jared is a member of the American Meteorological Society. In his free time, Jared enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He has two golden retrievers, Max and Gordon. Jared says that growing up on his family’s farm led him to appreciate nature in all its forms, likely leading to his passion for weather at a very early age. While he appreciates the occasional thunderstorm, Jared’s favorite weather is sunshine and 80 degrees. Add in the palm trees and it’s easy to see why Jared’s favorite vacation destination is Florida!
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2 Responses to Severe Weather Seems Likely Sunday Night

  1. Melissa Becker says:

    I am really happy to see a meteorologist from the Ohio Valley!!! This is such a difficult region to predict the weather due to us being in this valley but also the location we are in in general. I’ve always wanted to do meteorology but never got to school for it. There isn’t any courses here in town. So my hopes are now for my 18 month old little boy who loves to watch the WLKY meteorologists. He’s not afraid of storms and will watch The Weather Channel for hours if I let him. I have found that WLKY is always the first station I turn to when I need weather info. Very happy that you are part of that team, Jared, and if I and my son ever get the chance to meet you, would love to tell you all of this and then some in person. I’m sure I will be up watching you guys tomorrow night/monday morning. I usually stay up due to the fact that my parents are senior citizens and can’t hear the sirens. So I am the watch dog so to speak. Lol!!!! Thank you Jared and to the rest of the WLKY Meteorologists for such great work on being accurate.

    • Jared Heil says:

      Thanks for watching, and reading us Melissa! I wish you and your little guy the very best, and I appreciate the kind words!


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