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Archives for the SPC Convective Outlook are updated daily (approximately) with a live map at the beginning of each article. Follow the link at the end of the article to check for current updates on the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center website. Also, see Archives for Chicago's hourly weather data on CARDINAL NEWS Magazine.


Saturday, March 30, 2024

SPC Mar 30, 2024 1300 UTC Day 1 Convective Outlook

LIVE MAP (ABOVE) ... SPC 1300Z Day 1 Outlook

Day 1 Convective Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0749 AM CDT Sat Mar 30 2024

Valid 301300Z - 311200Z


Isolated severe hail and/or damaging gusts may occur across parts of
the Ohio Valley into West Virginia this afternoon/evening.

The mid/upper-level pattern over the western CONUS will remain
dominated by troughing related to a synoptic-scale cyclone --
centered initially off the CA coast about 150 nm west of SFO. The
cyclone will dig southeastward through the period, with its center
remaining just offshore, but elongating northeastward as several
vorticity lobes pivot into the northeastern quadrant of the gyre.
Meanwhile, a northern-stream trough now over southern Yukon and
northern BC will dig southward to the inland Pacific Northwest.
This will cause a phasing of northern and southern streams into a
more full-latitude, positively tilted trough by the end of this
period and early day 2, from the northern Rockies across southern
CA, to Pacific waters well west of northern Baja. Associated cold
air aloft and marginal (but adequate) low/middle-level moisture will
support isolated thunderstorm potential over much of CA and
northern/western NV.

Downstream, southwest flow aloft will spread across most of the
Intermountain West and Rockies, with several embedded/low-amplitude
perturbations -- one of which may contribute enough instability
aloft to support isolated thunder over the central High Plains.
East of the Rockies, largely zonal mid/upper flow is forecast, with
the most convectively consequential perturbation now evident in
moisture-channel imagery over portions of Lower MI, Lake Michigan,
IL, and IN. This feature is somewhat elongated in the flow, with
western and eastern components -- a general geometry that should be
maintained as it shifts eastward to the northern Mid-Atlantic region
through this evening.

Surface analysis at 11Z revealed a frontal-wave low over
northwestern IL, with cold front southwestward over western OK and
the TX Panhandle. A warm front was drawn east-southeastward from
the low near an IND-CVG-HTS line, to a weak low between LYH-CHO.
Though initially slowed somewhat by outflow from morning/midday
precip over the Ohio Valley region, the warm front should advance
northeastward into parts of OH and western PA today, as the main low
moves eastward to eastern OH by 00Z. At that time, the cold front
should extend from the low over southern parts of IN/IL/MO, to what
by then should be a stationary to warm front across northern OK into
southeastern CO.

...Ohio Valley and WV...
An ongoing area of precip and isolated, embedded, non-severe
thunderstorms is apparent in radar animations from WI southeastward
to OH, in the combined zones of large-scale ascent related to warm
advection and DCVA (preceding the mid/upper perturbation). This
activity and its cloud shield are expected to proceed eastward
through the central/northern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic today.
Favorable boundary-layer destabilization is most probable behind
that activity, as the western lobe of the mid/upper perturbation
approaches and passes over the area.

Clearing, insolation, theta-e advection, and mass convergence near
the cold front/low should overcome remaining MLCINH by mid/late
afternoon, supporting widely scattered thunderstorms. Activity
should move eastward to southeastward, offering isolated severe hail
and damaging gusts. Though low-level moisture still will be on the
weak side, and tempered somewhat by boundary-layer mixing, surface
dewpoints should reach the mid 40s to low 50s F by that time,
combining with steep low/middle-level lapse rates to enable 500-1500
J/kg MLCAPE. The well-mixed boundary layer will support strong to
marginally severe downdrafts with the most intense cells. Also, and
despite somewhat veered/southwesterly surface winds, low-level and
deep shear still will support some supercell potential with large
hail. Forecast soundings reasonably depict 45-55-kt effective-shear
magnitudes over the region. Activity should weaken east of the
higher terrain this evening, as it moves over a progressively
deeper, more-stable boundary layer.

..Edwards/Leitman.. 03/30/2024

SUNRISE AND SUNSET TIMES IN UTC (if you're not logged in to Google)
CHICAGO UTC-6 during CST (Central Standard Time, e.g., winter)
CHICAGO UTC-5 during CDT (Daylight Savings Time, e.g., summer)