Friday, June 22, 2012

Last Day Of Heat Ahead, Storms Fire Later

We're off and running to a toasty start this morning but we're buoyed a bit by the presence of some mid level clouds across the region.  Those clouds have helped to blanket the western portions of the region, helping to keep temperatures up a couple of degrees overnight.  Also with those clouds are a few isolated showers...remnants of thunderstorms that marched through Michigan and Ohio yesterday afternoon and evening.  With the front situated back to our west, the warmth remains for today but the front will serve as a trigger for thunderstorm activity later on today.

The clouds probably spoil some of the aggressive heat forecasts spit out by the models -- but there should be enough heat to get into the lower or middle 90's through the region.  We're projecting near 90 across Berks County and the Lehigh Valley, the Shore, and a general swath of 93-95 across I-95 and inland South Jersey for highs early this afternoon...and we might be a bit generous on those projections.  Given the warm start, 90 seems like a pretty reasonable projection for most everyone but the presence of those clouds may help knock temperatures down a bit more than projected (and we're lower than guidance).

The front should trigger scattered thunderstorms starting around midday to our west, slowly pushing through the region this afternoon.  Heavy rain and gusty winds are potential threats in the strongest of storms, with the region under a slight risk of severe weather for this afternoon and evening thanks to the abundant instability around.  The fly in the ointment is the cloud deck in place -- it could limit the potential nastiness of thunderstorms later on.  However, there's enough instability and heat around that at least a few storms should fire.  Given the potential scattered nature of thunder, some locations may miss out on the storms but odds favor a fair percentage of us getting in on the fun.