Good Friday morning...today's weather will be relatively tranquil but as we head into the weekend that may change in a big way....we'll have more on today in a later post.
Saturday right now has our attention the most as a strong upper level disturbance, plentiful moisture and surface heating could lead to an active Saturday afternoon and evening with severe thunderstorms possible across the Western Carolinas. Looking at the water vapor image early this morning you can clearly see an upper low across the Northern Plains dropping ESE toward the Great Lakes Region today...this is an anomalously strong feature for the middle to latter portion of July as it detaches itself from the main jet stream.
By Saturday this upper low begins to drop in the Ohio Valley and take on a negative tilt, this all in all is a pretty impressive pattern for the summer. It really looks a lot more like something of mid to late spring. There will also an impressive jet streak along the southwest periphery of the upper low that will slide east from the Tennessee Valley into the Carolinas by Saturday afternoon. The dynamics with this storm system is definitely there...the big question is: Will we have clearing skies on Saturday to help make things unstable at the surface?
The usually conservative GFS model inidcates that we will have destabilization early on Saturday as the CAPE (thunderstorm fuel) will reach sufficient levels for thunderstorm development in the afternoon...
With the possibility of instability and dynamics coming into play in tandem, the potential of severe weather is definitely there. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk (Level 2 of 5) for the Carolinas on Saturday...a lot of this is yet to be determined because of various features, further updates on Friday may include adjustments to the storm risks for Saturday.
Here's a look at the Severe Weather Index for Saturday, damaging winds looks to be the biggest threat, damaging hail is possible as well along with an isolated tornado that cannot be ruled out at this time. At this moment the timing of greatest storm potential on Saturday will be between 2-10 pm...this can easily speed up to be delayed in future forecasts...
Our best advice to you at this time is to continue monitoring the latest forecasts as they come in, the entire weather team will be on the lookout for severe weather on Saturday.