If you're in any of the aforementioned industries or maintain an outdoor venue, having accurate weather forecasts and staying ahead of what's coming will be IMPERATIVE for you next week.
Signals in recent weather modeling indicates a significant threat for severe weather and substantial flooding, at least Monday through Wednesday of next week, if not the entire week. I'm talking about the Ohio Valley/eastern Ag Belt here. We need four things to come into play when we look for severe weather potential: Moisture, Instability, Lift, and Wind Shear. Let me explain a little further...
A low pressure system will move into the eastern Ag Belt on Monday. With it, will be a warm front draped across IL/IN/OH, and a cold front draped across IL/MO/KS/OK. These fronts will act as lifting mechanisms for storms to develop.
Second, we look at moisture. Forecast dew points by all "major" models indicate that moisture will be nearly off the chart next week, with dew points reaching the mid-70s to possibly even near 80 degrees. This far north, that's pretty uncommon. Typically for severe weather, dew points of 58 degrees and higher will suffice- 75 is MORE than enough.
Next- instability. Both the NAM and the GFS continually suggest CAPE (convective available potential energy) values of 6-7,000 J/kg. Typically for severe weather, we look for anything above 1500-2000 depending on the time of year. The amount of CAPE we're looking at for next week is dangerously high, especially for the Ohio Valley.
Lastly, we need wind shear. We need at least one of two things to happen: 1- a change in wind speed with height, 2- a change in wind direction with height. Looking at forecast soundings from Indiana and Illinois, we have plenty of both. Winds at the surface are only around 10 knots coming from the southeast, and winds about 3.5 miles up into the atmosphere are from the west at 40 knots. With this amount of wind shear, that's certainly enough to see tornadic activity, on top of the damaging winds and hail typically associated with severe thunderstorms.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that right now, the potential for widespread, multi-day severe weather events are quite possible next week in the Ohio Valley/eastern Ag Belt. Exact locations and details of these events will be better identified as we get a bit closer.
However, not only will severe weather hazards be of concern next week, substantial flooding should also be paid attention to closely. I already explained that moisture in the atmosphere would be very high when I was discussing dew points. One other thing we look at when eyeing flooding potential are PWATS (precipitable water values), which analyze the amount of saturation in a column of air. In portions of the eastern Ag Belt next week, these values will be at nearly 300% the normal, indicating that very heavy downpours are likely.
Not everyone will see these flooding rains, but locations under heavy thunderstorms may see a quick 3-4" of rain. Some of the latest high-resolution weather models suggest that rainfall totals may reach upwards of 6" in a SIX HOUR period on Monday. By no means is the location of this excessive rainfall set in stone, though. It will likely change by Monday. I'm just pointing out the POTENTIAL for very heavy rain and flooding.
So what does ALL of this mean? The potential for multi-day severe weather events and excessive flooding is certainly present next this coming week. All outdoor industries should be prepared for this with accurate forecasts to aid in decision making. We offer unique Commercial and Agricultural forecasting services at tdsweather.com that do just that! For more information on what we offer, visit our website or inquire today at firstname.lastname@example.org.