Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Concentrated Area of Severe Weather In the Dakotas Later Today...

Severe thunderstorms are forecast today within the yellow shaded areas on the above image. A particularly concentrated risk of severe storms, including a few tornadoes, is forecast for the red shaded area across portions of the Dakotas.

A strong upper level weather disturbance will lift out over the northern Plains later this afternoon and evening, resulting in widespread severe thunderstorm development across much of the region.  Very large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes can be expected with this activity, particularly over the Dakotas.

The highest risk of tornadoes, a few of which could be strong, is forecast within the yellow shaded and black hatched area on the image below:

When examining the above "Tornado Probability" map, it is more important to focus on the area in which the threat is being forecast rather than the percentage "chance" of a tornado.  It is possible that a tornado that does form within this region will become strong and/or long track this afternoon or evening.

Very large hail (potentially 2 inches in diameter or greater) is forecast within the pink and black hatched areas on the image below:

Thunderstorms are likely to be initially scattered in nature by mid to late afternoon and early this evening, but will then congeal into one or more clusters or a small complex of storms by mid to late evening.  By that time, damaging winds will become the primary threat.  The highest risk of potentially widespread, damaging winds is forecast within the pink and black hatched areas on the image below:

Elsewhere, scattered severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail are possible across portions of New England this afternoon and early evening, as an upper level weather disturbance moves across the region.

Isolated, marginally severe storms will be possible in the heat of the day across the southern Plains.  At this time, there doesn't appear to be a risk of organized severe weather in any particular region of the South, but you should stay alert if a threatening looking storm approaches your area.

If you live in any of the severe weather risk areas outlined above, and particularly across the Dakotas and western Minnesota, please remain alert this afternoon and evening.  Review severe weather preparedness tips and be ready to seek shelter if threatening weather is observed or a warning issued.

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