Since yesterday the Storm Prediction Center has really increased our severe weather risk for today. It has most of the area in an enhanced risk now (level 3 out of 5). It has a slight risk from York county on northward.
Here’s the setup for later today. We have high pressure to our southeast, but it is drifting farther away. We are in a very hot and humid airmass that covers most of the Southeast.
Dew points are in the mid 70s. That is some tropical-type humidity. We’ll have partly cloudy skies for a while. So high temps will aim for the low-mid 90s. The heat index will be near 100 degrees. Be sure to stay well hydrated today if you are doing any outdoor activities. During the late afternoon the instability will really build in the atmosphere. We’ve had a good amount of instability over the past couple of afternoons, but we haven’t had much upper level winds.
Today, we will have some upper level winds. So this will be able to support severe storm formation. Some isolated thunderstorms may form by the early afternoon. However, they will build up over central Virginia during the late afternoon. They will then quickly move into our region between the late afternoon into the evening.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they move in a little faster than the models show due to the nature of the strong winds. The main threat will be strong damaging wind gusts that could possibly reach over 55 mph. The general wind won’t be that strong (SW 5 to 15 mph), but some of the storms may contain those types of gusts. There is also a threat for large hail.
You need upper level wind support for hail to form, so there’s a higher threat of that today compared to the last two days. The winds are favorable for tornadoes, but the chance is not zero. There may be some heavy rain, but the storms should move through fast. So I’m not too concerned about flooding.
Storms will keep going through the evening, but they should move out to sea after 11 p.m. Then we’ll dry out. Behind the front we’ll have some nice weather. High temps tomorrow will be in the mid 80s. Dew points will drop to near 60. Winds will be out of the northwest at 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts. We’ll have partly cloudy skies. There may be a stray shower in the region, but it’s a low chance. Things will get even better for Saturday. Highs will be in the low 80s with drier air. We’ll have fair skies. It will still be nice on Sunday. Highs will be in the 80s.
There may be some isolated showers, but it’s a low chance. The heat will build back in by early next week. High temps will be back to 90s with more muggy conditions. At least it will officially be Summer by that point. The first day of Summer is on Friday.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler