Hit-or-miss showers and storms this afternoon; Gusty wind and heavy rain possible

Posted 9:17 AM 7/22/2020

After some early morning rain, odds for showers and storms will gradually diminish through the rest of the morning. There is some question regarding the amount of clearing we can manage late this morning and this afternoon. The various computer models disagree with this and are of very little help. The amount of sunshine we get today will be an important factor with regards to heating and the severity of thunderstorms expected later in the day.

If the high-resolution models have it right, the morning clouds will persist through much of the morning. An approaching cold front will help create additional clouds this afternoon as it makes its way south and east. That should hold temperatures down and limit the amount of sunshine (thus, instability) and make the development of widespread strong storms difficult.

The Storm Prediction Center has parts of our area – mainly the southern half – highlighted for a Slight Risk for severe storms today. I think the strongest storms will be mostly along and south of I-70 and off to our east.

Thunderstorms this afternoon look to be disorganized and scattered. Any severe storms would be isolated and spotty. Still, a strong/severe thunderstorm could contain strong updrafts. The other concern is the potential for heavy rainfall. Today’s muggy air tells us there is plenty of moisture for showers and storms to tap into. We’ll have to watch out for a heavy downpour which could cause street flooding in those areas with pour drainage.

SIMULATED RADAR for today from the hi-res model

Once the front exits east of the region this evening the atmosphere quickly stabilizes bringing an end to the storms. A second boundary will approach and cross the area tonight. This one will run into a much more stable atmosphere making it very difficult for thunderstorms to get going. A shower and maybe a rumble is still possible but any substantial thunderstorms are highly unlikely.

The really good news from all of this is we will finally get much-needed rain over the next 24 hours. Current model projections estimate between a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain is on the way. Our farms and lawns could really use that.

NWS PROJECTED RAIN ACCUMULATION THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

Chances for showers and storms will continue through Thursday but things look to dry out and heat up again over the weekend.

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