Warm, moist air advected into the region overnight after a warm front pushed through the area. This is leading to 8 AM temperatures in the mid 60s. Southerly winds of 10 to 15 mph will continue to warm temperatures into the mid to upper 70s by this afternoon.
All this warm, moist air will lead to the development of instability across the region. Again, think of this as thunderstorm juice. The only question will be what effect the clouds have on the instability as mostly cloudy skies are expected today. Hi-Res models are suggesting moderate instability will develop by early afternoon.
Another ingredient for severe weather is shear. We’ll have an abundance of shear across the region, especially in the low levels of the atmosphere. Shear helps to organize and strengthen thunderstorms. The low-level shear is of particular interest when forecast tornadoes.
As of now, the Storm Prediction Center has placed the region in an “Enhanced” risk of severe weather. Think of this as a level 3 out of 5 risk. Damaging wind is the main threat. However, secondary hazards of large hail and tornadoes will be possible. A strong tornado cannot be completely ruled out.
Although the predominant mode of storms will take place in a squall line, the combination of strong shear and moderate instability has heightened the tornado threat, especially around 6 PM to 8 PM this evening. The below map indicates that sufficient tornado ingredients exist to warrant some concern.
A line of thunderstorms will form along a cold front to the west of the region this afternoon. This line of storms will approach the Mississippi River by 5 PM. Storms may form ahead of the line around this time in western Kentucky. The main line of storms will likely push through between the 6 PM and 8 PM timeframe.
Once the cold front pushes through overnight, the severe threat will end. The cold front will be quite strong, dropping temperatures into the mid to low 30s by Wednesday morning.
That should wrap up this forecast. Thanks for stopping by and look for more updates throughout the day.
-Meteorologist Jacob Wilkins