Saturday, August 12, 2023, Severe Thunderstorm Event
The Finger Lakes region is gearing up for another potential severe weather day with some intense storms possible.
There are several ingredients at play that will work together to set the stage for severe thunderstorms today. Unfortunately, some of the storms could be rather intense. Compared to other events this year, today has more similarities to this past Monday’s event than any other event this year.
That being said, there are uncertainties still at play, especially regarding how widespread the activity will become.
The first round of storms will be possible during the midday hours. These storms will develop ahead of a warm front that will move into the area. Originally, it looked like this activity would move through this morning but has been delayed.
After the front moves through, individual scattered storm cells will develop off and on throughout the afternoon. Some of these may join into small clusters of storms.
Lastly, a broader line of storms may develop later in the afternoon into the early evening. This is especially possible across the southern half of the region. Again, though, there is uncertainty in how widespread and how far north this occurs.
The severe weather threat will be greatest during the middle part of this event, when individual cells develop during the afternoon.
These storms cells will have the potential to produce large hail, damaging winds, and a couple of tornadoes. 9AM Update- The Storm Prediction Center has added a special designation to the areas shaded in orange on the attached map for the potential of significant hail over 2 inches in diameter.
The second highest severe threat will be if a line of storms develops late in the day. The primary threat with that would be damaging winds, though some hail and a quick spin-up tornado embedded within the line will also be possible.
Of the least concern will probably be the initial midday batch of showers and storms. Some hail or gusty winds will still be possible, but it will not be the main event.
Flash flooding could also be a concern, especially if the same areas get hit by multiple heavy storms throughout the day.
Given that this is a long-lasting, multi-phase event, it will be important to stay weather aware throughout the day. Have an action plan in place, especially if outside at an event.
Remember that there is some uncertainty about how widespread the activity will become.
Like I said on Monday: Most of the time, even intense severe weather events will only have serious consequences for a small portion of the area. Do not complain about the forecast busting if your town is missed: be thankful and look beyond yourself to those that were not as lucky. Keep empathy at the forefront.
I will have more updates as the day unfolds.
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