WEATHER: Strong to severe storms expected Tuesday

Posted at 6:10 AM, Jul 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-24 06:10:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – More scattered strong to severe storms are likely Tuesday afternoon and evening while we remain in the same weather set-up as on Monday. However, we expect Tuesday’s potential for more widespread and stronger storms is higher than on Monday. Wind damage reports were the most common yesterday out of clusters of severe storms that impacted mainly southwest and south-central Virginia.

However, the potential is even greater Tuesday for more storms and stronger storms in our entire region. An upper-level disturbance will track southeast toward the Mid-Atlantic from the Upper Midwest. This disturbance is following the “northwest flow,” or the jet stream highway, currently flowing from the Northern Plains southeast through the Upper Midwest toward the Mid-Atlantic around a broad, strong upper-level ridge centered over the Plains states. Atmospheric lift is provided by the disturbance, tapping into a hot, humid, unstable air-mass in our region.  Storms that develop will therefore move from northwest to southeast across the state.  The shear structure in the atmosphere will be conducive for clusters or lines of storms capable of producing damaging straight-line winds in excess of 60 mph. As a result of this enhanced threat, much of the East Coast is included in the Slight Risk issued by the Storm Prediction Center.

Although the primary concern out of clusters of storms will be damaging wind gusts, there is what the Storm Prediction Center describes as a “2% chance for an isolated tornado” out of any individual thunderstorm cells that form ahead of lines of storms. The chance is obviously extremely slim, but worth mentioning. Regardless, both a low-end tornado and a significant severe storm will have the same result: wind damage. Both should be taken seriously.

As I mentioned, today will be hot and humid, with afternoon heat indices in central Virginia climbing higher than 100 degrees for several hours. The highest heat index values, though, are expected in south-central and southeast Virginia, where a Heat Advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. for heat indices ranging 105 to 108 degrees.

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

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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