WEATHER: Slight risk for severe storms this afternoon and evening

Posted at 1:10 PM, May 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-02 13:41:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon, similar to the intensity of the storms that occurred Tuesday afternoon and evening across southern Virginia.

A ridge of high pressure is centered along the Carolinas coast right now, with Virginia on the northern periphery of that ridge.

Weak upper-level energy can pass around that edge of the ridge over us, providing extra lift for storm development. We already have the other necessary factors in place for convective development, including sufficient low-level moisture and very warm afternoon temperatures in the upper 80s to around 90 degrees.

CAPE values also look decently robust for Virginia, which certainly jives with the heat and moisture present in the region. For example, here is a snapshot of CAPE late this afternoon from one forecast model (the NAM 12Z run):

Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) forecast values

After morning clouds and a few storms, skies have also become mostly clear in central Virginia, which is ideal for enabling optimal afternoon heating and generating better instability. Here is the visible satellite as of 1 p.m. EDT:

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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Be sure to get afternoon and evening updates from Chief Meteorologist Zach Daniel on the CBS 6 Newscasts tonight, and also on his Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Stay with CBS 6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.