Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6/21 - 12pm - First Day of Summer, Rounds of Severe Weather

A few storms are moving northeastward through Kentucky and Tennessee right now. While not severe, these storms are moving through a very unstable environment (you can see the 2500 J/kg CAPE values on the right) and could reform or strengthen as the afternoon wears on. There's a Slight Risk for severe weather today across Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and more because these strengthening storms could produce wind damage and hail later on today.

Today at 1:16pm EDT summer will officially begin. This marks the summer solstice, or the day when the sun shines at its northernmost point on the earth due to the planet's tilt. Appropriately, today will feature summer-like highs across the Southeast. Here are some of the highs this afternoon for selected cities:

Louisville: 90  Lexington: 89
Cincinnati: 88  Jackson, TN: 90
Nashville: 88  Memphis: 93 
Knoxville: 93  Atlanta: 93
Birmingham: 93  Jackson, MS: 90

The heat will be breaking soon though because a cold front it scheduled to move through Kentucky and Tennessee late on Thursday. Above and behind this front is a upper-level low and trough that will trigger widespread severe storms across the Southeast on Wednesday. These storms could be supercells, which carry a tornado risk (not that big I think), and/or clusters with hail and high wind. The fast upper-level winds with the trough coupled with pretty high instability across the Lower Ohio Valley will provide a healthy environment for these storms, so be on the lookout tomorrow if you're in the Slight Risk area below:

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