Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Bowling Ball ready to strike Central NC-Southern VA

WeatherBell Analytics Meteorologist Joe Bastardi introduced me to a term that best describes a cut-off pool of cold air caught in a low pressure system which is a frequent occurence in Spring, especially during La Nina years.  These systems bring sharply colder temperatures and strong to severe storms as they roll through. Joe calls them "Bowling Balls".

The current bowling ball brought thunderstorms last night then highs in the mid to upper 50's, 20 degrees colder than yesterday.  Now the system is about to hit us from its backside with strong to severe thunderstorms along its warm front!  Take note of the systems comma shape.
Bowling Ball system is cutoff from the jet stream
Source: Univ of Wisconsin SSEC

Thunderstorms early in the evening will feature areas of heavy rain.  Later tonight those in the paths of the frontal storms may see high winds, risk of downpours,hail, and tornadoes.  One storm near Charlotte, NC is showing tornado characteristics.

Current Radar shows the severe thunderstorms in SW NC and areas of moderate to heavy rain/thunder moving through Central NC and Southern VA.  Fortunately Richmond appears to be too deep in the cool pool to get more than rain.  The whole bowling ball is moving SE.
National Weather Service Radar shows storm system
moving SE.  I am concerned about the "tail" on the south and
rear quadrants.  Those areas are experiencing severe weather.
I will send a general alert later this evening if the severe quadrant becomes likely to affect the Triangle/NC or the Richmond area.

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