Only in North Carolina can you have a week where you worry about freezing rain at the start of the week, and severe thunderstorms at the end of the week.
The past few days, we have mentioned that a threat of severe weather was possible in the forecast area towards the end of the week. That threat has increased as new data continues to come out.
A very strong cold front will push through the area today, giving us some heavy rain, along with the potential for Severe Weather.
The setup we are looking at today, is what we call a Low Cape/High Shear event.
Shear is basically the changing of wind directions with height. Tomorrow we will have a strong southerly flow ahead of the cold front. The cold front will be moving in from the North & West, so it will have a NW orientation. So the shear will be good to help storms rotate. Not necessarily rotate tornadic wise, but enough to have some concern about damaging winds, and a slightest chance of a tornado.
Cape is basically what we call thunderstorm fuel. Just like your car, thunderstorms have to something to keep them going. Although CAPE values are relatively low, they are still showing up, to give us that threat for a few strong to severe storms. Any sunshine we see on today will increase the CAPE values, so today, the sun is not our friend.
We're starting today off with some scattered showers, we should see a little break between 10 AM - 2 PM. Like I mentioned above, if we see any sunshine, that will further increase our threat for storms. Our temps will start off into the 50's but quickly climb into the low to mid 60's by Noon.
A squall looks to develop over the South by early afternoon and will steadily march into the Western Carolinas by mid afternoon. It should be knocking on the door of our western Counties first ( McDowell, Rutherford, Burke and Caldwell) by 3 pm.
By 6 pm the most intense part of the line of storms will be moving through Burke, Caldwell, Cleveland, Catawba, Lincoln and Alexander Counties. These areas could see the possibility of damaging winds, heavy rain, and a very slim chance of an isolated tornado.
By 8 pm the strongest of the storms are moving out of our forecast area, and all we will have to deal with is leftover rain showers.
So in closing here is our break down of the biggest threats from the storm system as it passes through the area.
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