10 AM Update: Current Observations And Today’s Forecast
It is currently cloudy across the area, and some places north of New York City are also seeing light rain and thunderstorms. This is due to a large area of rain and thunderstorms to our north ahead of the low pressure, that is currently weakening. This area of clouds and rain is currently preventing the northern Mid Atlantic and the Northeast from destabilizing, which is an important factor in determining today’s risk for severe weather.
Looking at the latest satellite, breaks in the clouds are currently forming to our west and should approach the area later this morning, leading to some sunshine, and allowing for the atmosphere to destabilize and for temperatures to rise into the 80s with humid conditions, which should set the stage for this afternoon. If there is enough sunshine, some places southwest of NYC may reach the lower 90s.
Later this afternoon, the cold front should approach the area. Due to high wind shear, along with relatively high CAPE and LI values, conditions ahead of this cold front will be favorable for severe thunderstorms to form and intensify while approaching the area. The main risk today will be for damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes, with other risks including hail, heavy rain and frequent lightning. With the potential for dangerous storms, it is important today to follow the short term weather and take cover should a severe thunderstorm approach.
For the probabilities today, I decided to issue a moderate risk, the first one of the year. Along with it, I included the area in a 5% tornado risk area, 15% hail risk, and 45% risk for damaging wind gusts. The SPC also issued a moderate risk, being the first time we have had such a high probability for severe weather since 2008.