Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for the Deep South this week, and unfortunately, the timing is such that the storms will remain rather strong as they approach Metro Atlanta.
The Storm Prediction Center indicates that a Slight Risk of severe storms is possible for Metro Atlanta (level 2 out of 5), while an Enhanced Risk (level 3 out of 5) of severe storms is possible for areas south of I-20 through Central Georgia.
Convective Available Potential Energy, or CAPE, will be limited for Metro Atlanta on Tuesday. This means that the storms’ updrafts will be limited in strength, undermining the overall severity of the storms.
However, winds will be favorable for damaging wind gusts as the upper level jet stream features a potent shortwave trough right over the state of Georgia, and an area of diffluence over Central Georgia and Metro Atlanta.
Diffluence is a wind flow in which air flows outward, or away -- it “fans out”, causing rapidly rising air to occur in the air layers down below. The black box below denotes the area of diffluence on the 200 millibar map (the layer of atmosphere approximately 5 to 6 miles above the ground).
All in all, Tuesday’s severe weather threat is conditional on the wind gusts, and they will likely be the strongest south of I-20 through Central Georgia.
Heavy rain will impact all of Metro Atlanta on Tuesday, with rainfall taking place between 11am and 5pm Tuesday. Flash flooding may occur in areas where heavy rain moves slowly over the same location.
The Storm Prediction Center indicates that an Enhanced Risk of severe storms is possible for Metro Atlanta (level 3 out of 5). This indicates a better chance for severe storms on Wednesday compared to the day before.
Convective Available Potential Energy, or CAPE, will be greater for Metro Atlanta on Wednesday. This means that the storms’ updrafts will be stronger, allowing thunderstorms to be more intense and potentially damaging on Wednesday.
What may hamper the storms on Wednesday is a less than favorable jet stream, in which the trough will remain off to the west-northwest, and not as much forcing will be available during the peak hours of high CAPE on Wednesday afternoon.
Bottom Line: Remain weather-aware this week! Stay tuned to 95.5 WSB for updates.
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