Severe storms are possible this evening and tonight
Morning thundershowers will give way to increasing heat and humidity in the afternoon, June 29. Thunderstorms may develop in the evening and become severe with damaging wind and large hail as the primary threats.
FARGO - After a round of scattered thundershowers this morning through midday, Wednesday afternoon turns warm and somewhat humid, thanks to a feisty south-southeasterly wind gusting around 35 miles-per-hour. Temperatures will rise into the 80s, near 90 degrees in the southern Valley, with dew points climbing into the mid-60s. This warm and humid air will be waiting for a surface cold front to move in from the west.
That’s pretty much a perfect set up for a severe storm or two, but later today, severe storms are only “possible” because of one tricky feature… the cap.
What is the cap? It’s a layer of warm, stable air way up above our heads that prohibits thunderstorm development. As the sun heats up the ground, it creates an updraft. The warm updraft cools as it rises, condenses, and makes clouds. If the cap is broken, thunderstorms can grow taller and taller and become severe. If the cap is in place, thunderstorms cannot strengthen.
Think of it like a boiling pot of water. When you have the lid on the pot, the steam is trapped below the lid. If you take the lid off, the steam rises out of the pot. In the atmosphere, that “steam” or warm air, can then rise further and create storms.
If storms develop this evening, they will be capable of large hail and damaging wind gusts. A brief tornado is possible, but not likely. Downpours within storms will also be a threat. The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service has our area in a Slight Risk for today.
There will be a few spotty showers Thursday with highs in the low 80s, less humidity than today, and a northwest wind at 15 to 30 miles per hour.
A pleasant day sets up for Friday under a mostly sunny sky. The holiday weekend will feature a few rounds of storms, but it’s too soon to pinpoint where, when, and how strong.