A couple things happened overnight. The big batch of thunderstorms stayed to our north and west before dying out. This rain-cooled boundary will act to fire up more storms this afternoon and evening just to the south and southeast. This is where we live. This system also does seem to be wrapping in plenty of moisture with dewpoint temperatures now near 60 here at mid-morning...so they should rise at least into the middle 60s to also help fuel storms. If this is not enough the latest wind charts are coming in even stronger aloft which is like adding high octane fuel to the atmosphere. So here is what it means.
The main threat still looks like straight-line winds. Also we cannot rule out large hail, and brief, isolated tornadoes. So make sure to have that plan B tonight and I will check back with you. We remain in a moderate risk for severe weather and that means about 5 to 10% of this area will likely see wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, 3/4 inch hail, and a few isolated tornadoes. I do have better news for our weekend, so stay calm and remember we will fire up Live Doppler 18 and Precision to help keep everybody safe this evening. I am worried that damaging wind could hit after dark which will make things more dangerous. Tonight is not a great night for plans. I would wait until the Saturday and Sunday when we have the all clear. Here are the latest numbers just in.
Lifted Index is holding at -5 for Lafayette
Lifted Index of -3 to -6: Very unstable, widespread thunderstorms that may be severe
CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) for Lafayete is 2000
1000-2500 J/kg: Moderate thunderstorms, possibly severe
5,000 foot wind 45 mph
10,000 foot wind 55 mph
18,000 foot wind 65 mph
Wind threat withing 25 miles of your neighborhood: 45%
Large hail within 25 miles of where you live: 30%
Isolated tornadoes with 25 miles of your home: 15%
Wind is blowing unidirection or mainly in one direction which would enhance our damaging wind threat. Speed shear will become more intense tonight which would also keep us in an isolated tornado risk as well or in this situation what I like to call a gustnado threat. It looks like a classic Spring severe weather threat. I will see you soon.
A conference call has been called by the National Weather Service offices at 1 p.m. I will make sure to give you a few highlights of what went on.