Complex Severe Setup Today (6/29/14)

day1otlk_1300Although there is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms today, as forecast by the Storm Prediction Center, it’s a complex setup with several uncertainties.

The biggest complicating factor is convection (thunderstorm activity) that’s already lined up across Nebraska this morning. Ideally, we’d want to see radar and satellite clearing up to allow for stronger daytime heating. With that said, the HRRR model does eventually break down this complex and fire up new storms by mid to late afternoon. Strong wind shear will be in place, so it’s really going to come down to how quickly the atmosphere can recover and destabilize.

I think we may very well end up on the low end of expectations today, with the messy evolution that’s ongoing. Although the HRRR does fire up some new storms later this afternoon, it’s not looking overly impressive with discrete supercells.

What will happen? Well, I think the most probable scenario right now includes some scattered severe thunderstorms this afternoon. Large hail and damaging winds will be likely, but as far as tornadoes, I think we’re trending toward less, rather than more. This means maybe a few tornadoes and the threat for a significant tornado is also on the low end of the spectrum. Remnant outflow boundaries and a warm front will be the focus points. I’m most interested in the area from eastern Nebraska into much of Iowa.

Things can always change, so that’s why it’s best to stay tuned to later forecasts. The severe/tornadic threat should become more clear by midday as the latest trends can be assessed. I’m starting the day in Lincoln, Nebraska and am in no hurry to leave. I’ll be analyzing radar, satellite and observations through the morning to get a better idea about what to do this afternoon.

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Quincy is a meteorologist and storm chaser who travels around the country documenting and researching severe weather. He has on-air experience with stations such as WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT and WREX-TV in Rockford, IL. He was most recently a digital meteorologist for After achieving his B.S. degree in Meteorology at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in 2009, he returned as a University Assistant to help produce weather broadcasts. He also gave guest lectures and worked on website design. He has over nine years of professional weather forecasting experience and his forecasts have been featured in newspapers and on radio stations in multiple states.

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