Potential Severe Weather Outbreak on Thursday

Thursday is looking interesting across the Washington Area as an approaching cold front, upper-level trough and favorable wind field increase the risk for severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, hail, and a few tornadoes.

Dew Points are forecast to rise into the 70’s, making the humidity feel oppressive on Thursday (images courtesy, PivotalWx).

Favorable Wind Field for a few Tornadoes

The ingredients for tornadoes include strong convective updrafts and changing wind direction with height, also referred to as wind shear.

The image above shows increasing Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) at the surface as well as increasing wind shear on Thursday afternoon.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) Highlights Mid-Atlantic in Slight Risk for Severe Storms on Thursday

The amount of sunshine on Thursday will be key regarding how the details unfold.  Some of the high-resolution models show thunderstorms breaking out during the predawn hours on Thursday which could help to curtail some of the instability during the daytime hours on Thursday.

The devil is always in the details and those will become much clearer on Wednesday.