Severe Weather Event For the Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Seaboard on Sunday; A Few Tornadoes Possible
Before I delve into the details of this article, please note what the last two words of the article headliner states, and understand what they mean… “Tornadoes Possible”. This means that dynamic support is favorable for the threat for tornadoes. It does not state that a major tornado outbreak is expected. The biggest battle in the weather enterprise is clearly and effectively communicating severe weather risks and uncertainties. Are tornadoes possible tomorrow across the Mid-Atlantic region? Yes. That is all we know… tornadoes will be possible, NOT guaranteed.
Let’s dive into the details for tomorrow. I’ll keep this article short as I just want to give an update on the latest information, though not much has changed in thinking since earlier today.
Here is the latest look at the SPC Convective Outlook for Sunday…
A closer look at the greatest threat for severe weather on Sunday centers across the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., across parts of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, the Delmarva Peninsula, southeast Pennsylvania and parts of southern and western New Jersey. The SPC has an “enhanced” risk for severe weather outlined across this region. All modes of severe weather will be possible including hail, damaging winds and some tornadoes. Again, not expected to be a tornado outbreak by any means, but this threat still must be respected.
Hi-resolution model output suggests dynamic support conducive for supercell development and the threat for some tornadoes across the Mid-Atlantic, especially during the Sunday afternoon and evening hours. The graphics below show Energy Helicity values across the region at 4pm and at 7pm.
Energy Helicity is a combination index based on convective energy (CAPE) and helicity and is great index that suggests the best environments favoring supercell and tornado development.
While tornadoes will be possible tomorrow, especially across the Mid-Atlantic, they will be isolated in nature. I would not be surprised to see anywhere from one or two to a handful, but not nearly an outbreak. Looking at model output, the greatest threat is likely to come from damaging, straightline winds, which can be just a dangerous and damaging as a tornado as this threat still needs respected.
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