Severe Storm Threat This Evening

10:40AM 3/30/12

We have been watching the potential for some strong storms tonight as a cold front pushes into the region. Consistently the models have been breaking out some storms on this front … though there are many questions as to just how strong they will become.

Model Forecast Radar This Evening 9PM ET

This forecast model also shows the storms, developing to our northwest by 8 or so tonight. These storms may try to congeal into a broken line and head southeastward into our viewing area.

Best estimate on timing for our area for severe chances is from 7PM to Midnight.

As the storms head southeastward, the instability will be waning and the wind energy associated with the system will be departing, so I think the best threat for severe weather will be in the early part of this time period. With this in mind, the best severe potential will likely reside in our northern and northeastern half of the WLKY viewing area this evening.

SPC Severe Outlook

The SPC has placed our entire area in a severe risk today, although their percentage risk assessment places that northeastern third to half in the higher risk zone. I agree with that at this time.

Threats with any storms this evening will be gusty straight-line winds up to 65 mph, some hail, and frequent lightning in addition to heavy rainfall.

TORNADO RISK…

SPC Tornado Threat

The SPC also highlights our northeastern communities in a 5% tornado risk. With the recent tornadoes, I want to remind everyone that the tornado risk on March 2nd when Henryville and other communities were hit by an EF4 was 30%! So, much much lower risk today. I’m really not that concerned about a tornado threat, based on the latest model data. Wind shear (veering wind direction with height) is very weak today compared to our recent weather events. BUT, don’t be surprised if a storm or two tries to rotate this evening, thus I wouldn’t rule out a stray tornado warning. Though I don’t expect this to be a big problem, remember to always take tornado warnings seriously.

We will, as always, watch it closely for you.
–Jared

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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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