Now that the weekend is underway, we are getting a clearer picture of the timelines for potential severe weather episodes that could impact our viewing area over our First Alert weather days today and tomorrow. With that being said, I've got some good news and some bad news. We'll do the good news first.
The good news: The overall severe weather threat for today is relatively low. Although we still can't completely rule out an isolated severe storm (mainly across our SC counties) this evening or tonight, the outlook for today (attached) is not a whole lot different than it looked like yesterday, with the higher risk areas still holding to the south of our viewing area (yellow). However, the area under a Marginal risk in green (meaning isolated severe storms possible) does now come up to the NC state line.
The bad news: The severe threat is higher for Sunday. The outlook over yesterday now brings the zone of most active weather (orange shading, or enhanced risk) to all counties SE of Char/Meck, where numerous severe storms are possible. The slight risk area (yellow shading, scattered severe storms) includes the rest of the Piedmont, and the Marginal risk (dark green, isolated severe) encompasses the mountains and foothills.
Timing the bad news: It still looks like there will be two windows of opportunity for the severe threat Sunday. The first will come first thing in the morning, possibly as early as the pre-dawn hours, through about Noon. Then, we'll get in on a midday break, before a second and more robust round arrives in the evening, probably right around dinner-time give or take, and could last as late as close to midnight before finally subsiding.
Threats: By definition, a severe thunderstorm is one that produces large hail (1" diameter or greater), damaging straight-line winds greater than 58mph, or a tornado. And yes, there is a tornado risk Sunday as well due to the strong upper-level low and surface front moving in which will cause winds to change direction rapidly with height. This produces what is called wind shear in the atmosphere, which is basically spin that can cause thunderstorms to rotate and possible produce a tornado. The WBTV weather team will be monitoring the conditions all day long, and bring you any tornado warnings that are issued live on air, as well as constant online updates.
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