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Severe Weather Is Quite Possible Thursday Afternoon & Evening Across Western & Central Mass

I am becoming increasingly more concerned for the potential for severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. In fact, if all of the parameters come together, we could be looking at quite the severe weather event Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening. The weather setup for Thursday is going to consist of a trough of low pressure pushing through the region during late Thursday and Thursday night. The air mass during Thursday is expected to be very warm with afternoon temperatures of 85 to 90 Degrees and very humid with dew point temperatures of 70 to 75 Degrees expected. This will lead to the atmosphere becoming unstable by Thursday afternoon. One factor that may put a cap on the severe weather potential is that the amount of lifting in the mid-levels of the atmosphere may not be very strong. This could lead to thunderstorms having a hard time really exploding in development. On the other hand though, the dynamics and energy with the trough passage is expected to be rather strong and there could be some turning of winds as you go up in the atmosphere. This means that storms that do develop during Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening may be able to rotate and spin. My take on this is that we should see numerous thunderstorms develop across the region during the mid and late afternoon hours of Thursday and continue into Thursday evening before wrapping up around midnight Thursday night. Based on the latest available data, the combination of strong wind shear, strong forcing from the trough of low pressure and the unstable, very warm and very humid air mass will lead to scattered to numerous strong to severe thunderstorms which will be capable of producing wind gusts of 50-70 mph, quarter size hail, frequent lightning, torrential downpours with a flash flood threat and even a couple to a few tornadoes. If we end up see more lift occur in the mid-levels in the atmosphere and that capping disappears, then we could see a much greater severe weather event across the region. Something to watch, but for now, I’m not going that robust of a forecast. One final thing to watch during the day on Wednesday is to track the robustness of the severe weather across lower Michigan and look for the 24 hour teleconnector severe weather rule as it relates to southern New England. This means that if lower Michigan sees significant or major severe weather during Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening, like is currently forecast, then southern New England will have a much higher chance of seeing the same sort of severe weather 24 hours later or on Thursday afternoon and evening. On the other hand, if the severe weather fails to measure up across lower Michigan during Wednesday, then we may luck out here on Thursday. The key thing to look out for is to see how bad the severe weather is across lower Michigan on Wednesday and this should give us a gauge on how bad the severe weather may be during Thursday afternoon and evening here in Western and Central Mass. I will be watching the severe weather potential for Thursday afternoon and evening very closely and will have updates as needed.

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