Severe weather possible tonight

Weather

Strong to severe storms may generate gusty winds, heavy rain & lightning.

Independence Day celebrations will be dealing with numerous showers and storms from the middle of the afternoon through at least midnight.  The pattern of heat and humidity will remain, sparking strong to severe storms in the late day time frame.  The storms that arrive will be aggressive as far as rain and wind are concerned.  If the storms are to be designated severe it will mainly be due to the gusty winds (over 58 mph).  Small hail is also possible but may not reach the severe level of 1” in diameter, but .75” in diameter is formidable as well.  The base of the clouds will be fairly high so as the rain falls and evaporates a bit and an outflow is also generated, downburst winds will be a problem. Lightning will be widespread tonight as well, so it may put some outdoor activities on hold.

Another concern I have for the weekend is the amount of rain that could fall in a short period of time leading to localized flooding.  If you are camping this weekend make sure to be aware of the topography. The storms that rain out when they are over the mountains present a problem once the rain hits the ground.  The hills will channel the rain into more focused valleys or crevasses and flash flood the region.  Place your campsite in a safe location, away from creeks and streams and check out the terrain for significantly sloped locations… then avoid them.  Flash flooding is very dangerous and as the name suggests, it occurs quickly.  Stay safe.

The storms will not be confined to the mountains, so everyone needs to be alert for gusty winds and localized flooding.  There is a chance for storms to arrive in the heat of the day each afternoon over the long holiday weekend.  In fact, the next chance for a dry day isn’t until Tuesday. 

Moisture is being imported from the south and west around an area of high pressure off the coast.  This means that the water is coming from the Gulf of Mexico and is basically tropical in origin.  That often times translates into heavy rain at times. 

Have fun this weekend, but stay safe.

On another note, keep an eye on your pets tonight during area fireworks displays.  Some animals really get scared by the loud boom associated with the fireworks.   Make sure they are secure so they don’t run off and hide. 

John Carroll
Chief Meteorologist

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