Tornado Watch: Mid-Atlantic Region

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By Quincy Vagell on June 27, 2013, 2:30pm Last modified: June 27, 2013, 10:56pm

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Depiction of a Tornado Watch, in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday. Courtesy SPC.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Tornado Watch for portions of the mid-Atlantic states, as far north as northern New Jersey. A developing storm system in Pennsylvania is creating an environment that is supportive of severe thunderstorm development. As few of the stronger storms could potentially produce tornadoes.

Discussion:
As stated in the 11:30 a.m. Severe Thunderstorm Outlook, there is an increased potential for severe thunderstorms in the mid-Atlantic area. Mostly clear skies in portions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and points south has allowed for plenty of daytime heating. This is resulting in an unstable air-mass with relatively high dew-points as well. A few supercell thunderstorms or thunderstorm clusters could form well ahead of an approaching cold front. As the cold moves northeast tonight, a strong squall line of thunderstorms is forecast to develop. Increasing wind shear through the day coupled with relatively steep lapse rates and mesoscale forcing elements could cause a few tornadoes to form. The tornadic potential comes in two time-frames. The first is this afternoon into the evening hours as daytime heating kicks off some storms. Later tonight, as low pressure deepens, considerable wind shear is forecast to develop in northern parts of the mid-Atlantic region into New York State. Although daytime heating will be lost, there is a slight risk for overnight tornado development close to the center of low pressure. The low is forecast to move to a position near or just southeast of Binghamton, N.Y. by Friday morning.

An isolated severe thunderstorm threat may continue into Friday and Saturday across portions New York and New England, but details still need to be resolved before confidence in such an event increases.

SPC discussion on the Tornado Watch:
DISCUSSION...STRONG/SEVERE STORM DEVELOPMENT IS NOW UNDERWAY ALONG AND TO THE EAST OF THE NORTH CENTRAL APPALACHIANS.  ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO INCREASE AND INTENSIFY...AHEAD OF THE MID-LEVEL TROUGH SHIFTING TOWARD NORTHERN MID ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS.  DEEP LAYER FLOW AND SHEAR ARE SOMEWHAT MODEST...BUT HIGH BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE CONTENT AND HUMIDITY...COUPLED WITH AMBIENT VERTICAL VORTICITY...MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE RISK FOR A FEW...AT LEAST WEAK...TORNADOES IN DISCRETE STORMS.  PRECIPITATION LOADING WITHIN CONSOLIDATING CONVECTION WILL ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE RISK FOR POTENTIALLY DAMAGING WIND GUSTS.

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Naugatuck, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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