The upper level ridge of high pressure which is responsible for the ongoing heat wave across much of the nation produces sinking air from the upper levels of our atmosphere all the way to the surface. Ever wonder why it isn’t storming with such ample heat and humidity? The answer is because it is too warm aloft underneath these upper-level ridges of high pressure. However, along the edges of these ridges the jet stream is very active and cooler air aloft allows for large-scale thunderstorm development along the northern periphery of these high pressure systems. This is where the term “Ring of Fire” is coined from in meteorology.
-Watching an MCS (Mesoscale Convective System/large complex of thunderstorms) over Ohio and how it evolves as it makes the trip toward the spine of the West Virginia Appalachians. If this system survives, the southwestern portion of the Washington Region would be in the most favored location for thunderstorms that could produce damaging winds this afternoon. Something to watch (if the MCS survives the trip).
Even if this system begins to weaken, its outflow boundaries may be able to produce some isolated thunderstorms across our region, some of which could become severe with damaging winds being the main threat.
Main threats with today’s storms (opinions are mine):
– High Winds (80% chance of widespread damaging winds with initial squall line)
– Hail (60% chance of individual super cells containing nickel to ping-pong sized hail)
– Tornadoes (40% chance of a Tornado within any rotating super cell that develops)