Saturday Afternoon T-Storm Threat

The air is thick already around the Hudson Valley, as we approach mid day.  Temps in the low 80s, with dew points around 70, are making for a rather sticky summer afternoon.
With many having outdoor afternoon plans, and the forecast calling for scattered T-Storms, many are asking for specific details on how the afternoon will unfold, so we’ll try to clarify a bit.
Futurecast Radar : 12pm – 8pm
Above is the futurecast radar from 12pm to 8pm today.  There are 2 key things to point out.  First, this is a mathematical simulation… and second, it’s a futurecast for pop up T-Storms.  We point this out, because as much as we may want to know specifically “when and where” the storms may appear… technology just isn’t there yet.  With an organized storm system (like we may see in the winter), or even with a strong cold front that triggers a line of severe T-Storms.  In those cases, we have a defined weather feature that drive the weather.  In those cases, we can get more specific and detailed with higher degrees of confidence, because we can project the speed and path of the cold front, or low pressure system. 
In a case like today, the general instability of the atmosphere… the heat, humidity and high dew points are interacting with a weak frontal boundary to our north, to touch off pop up showers and T-Storms.  So the location and timing of the storms will be virtually impossible to determine with confidence.  So everyone needs to keep an eye to the sky for a possible 30 minute rain delay this afternoon.  But here are a few points we can make with some confidence…
– Chance of T-Storms increases as you go further north
– Storms NOT expected to be severe
…. strong wind gusts & small hail a minor concern
…. heavy downpours & frequent lightning possible
…. severe storm can’t be ruled out (less than 5% chance)
The chance or showers and storms will last into the night time hours, as the cold front slowly sinks southward.  But as the atmosphere stabilizes after dark, the threat will gradually diminish.  Leaving us with a dryer and more stable air mass for Sunday… featuring lots of sunshine, blue skies, and highs in the low 80s.

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