Thursday, July 14, 2011

Severe Weather Outlook for Today - Thursday, July 14, 2011

After a few relatively quiet days, a more widespread threat of severe weather appears to be shaping up for this afternoon and evening across portions of the northern and central Plains.  Above is the latest severe weather outlook for this afternoon and evening from the SPC in Norman, OK.  Severe thunderstorms are forecast within the yellow shaded areas on the image.

In addition, scattered strong to locally severe storms are possible across much of the southeast U.S., near and around the "See Text" wording on the above image.  Gusty winds and hail to near severe limits will be possible with this activity.

Back to the main threat area... a strong upper-level low pressure system continues to organize across the northern Rockies.  Several bursts of energy will move out from the system into the adjancent Plains this afternoon and evening, which will lead to severe thunderstorm development generally from West to East across the severe weather risk area.

Large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes will all be possible with severe storms that form in this region during the afternoon and early to mid-evening hours.  The greatest threat of tornadoes will be from storms that remain more isolated from southeastern Montana into adjacent portions of North and South Dakota.  Very large hail (i.e,. 2 inches in diameter or larger) will be possible with storms that form in the red and black hatched areas on the image below:

It appears likely that some of the thunderstorms that form over central Montana this afternoon or evening will congeal into one or more small complexes of storms and move East/Northeastward into adjacent portions of eastern Montana and North Dakota during the overnight hours.  With that in mind, it is possible that there will be two rounds of severe storms for some parts of eastern Montana and western & central North Dakota - the first being isolated to scattered storms this afternoon through mid evening, and the second being a possibly more widespread complex of storms later in the evening or overnight hours.  Strong, possibly damaging winds would be the primary threat with the second round of activity during the overnight hours.

If you live in or near the above mentioned areas, please remain alert this afternoon and evening.  Review severe weather safety and preparedness tips in advance and be prepared to seek shelter if threatening weather approaches your area.

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