Short Term Update

SHORT TERM [Tuesday Through Wednesday Night]...
The main focus in the short term period is on the upcoming system
on Wednesday and the potential for strong to severe storms. As is
typical in the lead-up to most potential severe weather scenarios,
there are some favorable and unfavorable elements in this case. On
the favorable side, the forecast area will reside in the right-
entrance region of a strong upper level jet streak, which will
promote large scale lift. In addition, the low level wind field
and shear are still forecast to be fairly strong, although the
consensus is a little weaker than yesterday`s runs. 0-1 km shear
values are generally forecast to be near 30 knots, and 0-6 km
shear values are generally forecast to be near 50 knots in the
warm sector. Running some customized SREF probabilities for a
typical low CAPE/high shear scenario in this part of the country
(SBCAPE > 250 j/kg, 0-1 km shear > 30 knots, 0-6 km shear > 50
knots, MLLCL < 750 m, and QPF > 0.01") yields around a 20% chance
of this favorable scenario occurring across the western portions
of the forecast area with decreasing probabilities farther
eastwards. This is in reasonable agreement with the SPC 15% day 3
slight risk across the area. There is also at least some modest
low level CAPE noted in some of the forecast soundings viewed in
BUFKIT across the area, with 0-3 km CAPE values possibly around
100 j/kg.

On the unfavorable side of the forecast scenario, the model trend
is slightly less impressive than yesterday locally, and mid-
level lapse rates are generally poor. In addition, there are hints
of a very shallow but noted stable layer in some of the forecast
soundings viewed in BUFKIT. When the other parameters are
favorable, this stable layer can often make or break an event
locally depending on whether or not it is present. Unfortunately,
the models have a hard time forecasting such minute details with a
high degree of accuracy.

We are still too far away from the potential event to be in the
range of most of the hi-res guidance, although our 06z local ARW
run valid at 60 hours did bring a squall line into the western
forecast area during the early afternoon hours on Wednesday.

The general timing of the event still looks to be in the late
morning to early afternoon hours across the western forecast area,
and the early to late afternoon hours across the central and
eastern portions of the area. As hinted at by the SREF
probabilities, the greatest threat of any severe weather is
expected to be across the western forecast area. This is also in
general agreement with the winter season severe weather
climatology in this forecast area.

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