TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) – It’s spring thunderstorm season – although they don’t happen as often here in southern Idaho as they do in the Midwest, they still happen here in the south from Idaho.
In fact, about 2 weeks ago we saw our first severe weather of the season in Idaho, after numerous severe thunderstorm warnings were issued due to a line of thunderstorms crossing the forecast area. Just look at the tweet below from May 2.
Sunday’s event will not be as powerful. In short, the upper level support with this system is much weaker than what we saw 2 weeks ago. However, we will see enough support for organized thunderstorms.
Although as of 3 p.m. Saturday, the Storm Prediction Center did not put the area at risk of a severe thunderstorm, there is a chance they will later. What does the SPC see that prevents it from placing the region under severe weather risk? It all has to do with the available humidity that we will have to work with.
The energy of thunderstorms, or the technical term, CAPE, relies on a few ingredients to be present – specifically moisture near the earth’s surface and temperatures rapidly cooling as you ascend higher.
Where is the uncertainty? As always with Idaho, it’s moisture available. The models we use to forecast aren’t very certain of how much low-level moisture will be present throughout the day tomorrow. One model indicates that we won’t have much humidity, which will limit the amount of storm energy available, while another model indicates that we will have more humidity, which will allow storm energy to flow. storm to be much more abundant.
The greater the energy of your thunderstorm, the better your chances of seeing severe weather, especially hail. While the models definitely show enough storm energy for the development of thunderstorms, the uncertainty is that we will see enough for the development of hail.
Another uncertainty? Storm cover. As I said earlier, it seems likely there won’t be very strong forcing with this system, which means the air won’t be forced up as much. It seems likely that these thunderstorms will mostly be confined to the mountains.
In my opinion, it looks like we have a chance of a thunderstorm or two becoming severe if they do develop. These storms will be very isolated in coverage, and some (almost all) of us can see partly cloudy skies throughout the day. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Storm Prediction Center upgraded us to marginal risk (level 1/5) of severe storms tomorrow.
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