As opening round of rain this afternoon continues and the slow warming from the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s as this is being written will at the surface set up our first legitimate chance for severe weather this spring. With the possibility of damaging winds, hail, flash flooding, and possibly a tornado in the area between 11 PM tonight until 4 AM tomorrow morning.
The Muncie area is currently under a slight risk of severe weather (level 2 out of 5.) While areas South and West of here, including the cities of Indianapolis, Louisville, Evansville, and Terre Haute, are under an enhanced risk of severe weather (level 3 out of 5.) Areas North and West of Muncie the possibility of severe weather decreases where severe weather shouldn’t be much of a concern including the Fort Wayne area.
What? Where? and Why is there going to be severe weather potential tonight?
To put it simply without going into extreme detail is that the unseasonably warm moist air today and tonight from the Southwest United States with the close proximity of a low pressure system in Kansas will bring the combination of upper level winds, moisture, and energy needed in the form of temperatures in the 60’s this evening would bring the possibility for severe weather overnight for portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and to Indiana. With the highest likely-hood for severe weather being in southern Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky as the weather moves Northeast at 50-60 mph from the Ozarks region to the Ohio Valley into tonight.
However, there remains some uncertainty weather this severe weather event especially in the Muncie area where morning fog and cool temperatures in the morning and afternoon has limited daytime heating before the first wave of rain from the MCS. This is the reason why Muncie is in a Slight risk of severe weather instead of an Enhanced risk. The confidence is too low if there is enough available low level energy to support severe weather as the system expected to come in overnight will weaken and lose severe weather potential. On the other hand, it is mid March and it doesn’t take much heat energy to produce severe weather it just needs one severe thunderstorm cell to cause problems.
-CWS Forecaster: Ben Waggoner