It All Comes Down To The Sunshine

We are still under a slight risk for severe thunderstorms for tonight. This is what we call a high shear low instability set up. In other words, the winds in the atmosphere will be very supportive of severe weather later on tonight, but there won’t be a lot of instability available to help get violent storms started. We are expecting a mostly cloudy sky today, if we do get more sunshine then the instability will be much higher and the threat for severe weather will also climb.

The biggest thing that we are concerned about is that an increase in sunshine will quickly erode a very weak inversion. That would allow tonight’s thunderstorms to be surfaced based instead of elevated. In other words the storm’s cloud base will be much closer to the ground and that is where the strongest wind shear is located. This would not only lead to an increase in hail, and damaging winds but the tornado threat would also climb much higher. So it all comes down to the sunshine…and it is a wait and see game at the moment.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”


4 Responses

  1. Abundant sunshine so far!

  2. Have seen nothing but sunshine this morning, but it is gorgeous outside.

  3. Bright and sunny here in Bentonville. (9:30am) I don’t know if it matters when the sunshine is out, but there is barely a cloud in the sky. Rather nice, for the moment!

  4. Weather Crew In Siloam we have had a lot of sunshine. Because of it I am beginning to get worried. Can you give us a heads up on this. I am a fan of severe weather season but at the same time after the Joplin tornado I also fear it.

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