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What we’re tracking: Tuesday Severe-Wx Potential

-CWS Forecaster Lance Huffman

If you’ve not heard already, severe thunderstorms are possible Tuesday night. Here is some important information for the upcoming event, and how the potential for severe weather could change throughout the day and tonight.

An approaching strong low pressure system will move through the Midwest, with the low pressure center moving through Iowa, northern Illinois, and into southern Michigan. This means warm air will be in place over Indiana and most of Illinois, and combine that with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, plenty of wind shear, just a little bit of instability, and the passage of a cold front, we have ourselves the potential for some severe weather.

Temperatures throughout the Tuesday are expected to reach the upper 60s or lower 70s as we enter the warm sector of the low pressure system. As we enter the warm sector, the environment is fed Gulf moisture, with dewpoints potentially in the upper 50s and lower 60s. This setup includes plenty of wind shear with both directional and speed changes with height. The ingredients are there for some severe weather.

Main Hazards, Timing and Uncertainties:
Storms hold off until after sunset, with storms firing and moving across central and northern Indiana by 7-9PM. Muncie should expect to see storms by 10-11PM, so make sure to have a way to get alerts overnight, especially if the timing of storms change.

The environment of these storms bring a healthy does of wind shear, which may be favorable for a few tornadoes across northern and central Indiana, as noted by the SPC. There is a 5% chance for tornadoes within 50 miles of a point across northern Indiana, including Muncie. There is also a threat for large hail to very large haul, with the potential for hail greater than 2″ in diameter. If you have a garage, better be safe and put your cars in there!

Uncertainties still remain with the specific timing of this event, but so far it appears to be just past sunset for the bulk of the storms. More uncertainties lie on potentially a second round, which is the cold front, which would bring some damaging winds across the region if storms form along the front.

After these storms we cool down quite a bit, and winds are very… windy overnight and through tomorrow thanks to gradient winds. Some may see gusts up to 40 mph.

Make sure to have your NOAA Weather Radio active Tuesday night! Us forecasters at CWS are keeping a close eye on this system!

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