Monday's Severe Weather Threat: A Closer Look - FOX Carolina 21

Monday's Severe Weather Threat: A Closer Look

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In case you hadn't heard, today (Monday) will present a threat for severe weather across most of the western Carolinas as a very potent lower pressure system spins over the Midwest.

It has been responsible for literally HUNDREDS of various severe weather reports of large hail, wind damage, flooding, and over 20 tornadoes between Saturday and Sunday over mainly Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas & Mississippi. 

Adding to that, areas to the north and west of the low saw multiple inches of SNOW in places like Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa & Minnesota as it drew in cold Canadian air demonstrating the shear strength of the system.

This was when the "triple point" or the intersection of the low, cold front & warm front was located down there. It has since moved northeast and will cause more widespread severe weather over the mid-Atlantic & northeastern states today where the Storm Prediction Center has placed an "enhanced"(brown) risk.

As for the western Carolinas & northeast Georgia, we'll just be dealing with the cold front of the system, which tends to produce linear groups of storms or "squall lines" that move quickly producing damaging straight-line winds & microbursts. For this reason we are in a lower "slight" (yellow) risk of severe weather.

Today looks to generally stick to these norms fairly closely, but within lines of storms, sometimes brief spin-up tornadoes can form, and the same can be said today as we do have enough wind shear (change in wind direction/speed w/height).  If one were to form, it wouldn't last for long and would quickly be taken over by the straight line winds.

Our limiting factor today will be instability, which refers to proper heating of the surface and temperature profile of the atmosphere which promotes lift.  The sun plays a very important role in this, but with our morning round of storms, sunshine is going to be very hard to come by today. 

Thus, we're basically just dealing with the warm muggy air that we had over the weekend, which will be sufficient, but not large enough to promote widespread severe weather and tornadoes.

No matter what, this system will move through quickly, so during the window from about 11 AM (west) to 5 PM (east) most locations will see heavy rain, thunder/lightning and strong wind but only for a few minutes at a time.  

Tuesday and Wednesday will dry out before our next system moves in on Thursday. So, be sure to stay up to date with FOX Carolina for the latest today and later this week!

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