July 14, 11 PM Weather Forecast Update

Smoke to storms, then drier trend...

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 9:29 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2021 11:04 PM

Highs today reached 82-89 with thick, smoky haze with dim sun & some cumulus clouds. 

Heat indices varied from 85 at Logansport to near 90 to the upper 90s elsewhere in the area with dew points 68-75.

We have seen an incredible 39 tornado reports from north-central to northeastern Iowa this evening!  Several reports were of large, multi-vortex tornadoes.

Model data did not suggest such a tornado outbreak, but some of this may be tied to some smoke.  We would likely not had as many tornadoes or tornadoes with such strength with these shear conditions without the smoke. 

Why? 

In a ground-breaking study at the University of Iowa, professor found link between smoke & tornado number & strength.  There was a correlation between the historic April 2011 Alabama outbreak & Central American fires.

Effects tend to be determined by what level of the troposphere the smoke is located.  If it is low-levels, that is where you get the tornado support.  If it is thick & much higher up, storms may be impeded some.

When other conditions are present & supportive of some tornadogenesis anyway, it is amplified greatly by smoke (as long as the smoke doesn't create a cap to completely suppress storm development):

These images are all courtesy of Popular Science (https://www.popsci.com/study-2011-storm-finds-smoke-could-intensify-tornadoes/):

So, a wall cloud like this would be more apt to produce a tornado & a stronger tornado at that (this was a wall cloud back in the summer of 2019 that produced funnel cloud near Otterbein.  We then caught the storm's rotating wall cloud on our tower cam).  Not the Peppermill Apartments & looking north to give you sense of direction.

Smoky skies, some clouds & 70 to the 70s are expected tonight as storms weaken west & northwest of our area.

Thursday looks breezy to windy (southwest winds 20-32 mph) with 87-92 (heat indices 96-103) tomorrow. It appears smoke several thousand feet up may thin some by evening.

Multi-cell clusters of storms & a beefy line segment are likely Thursday evening. There is the risk of a few severe storms in the 5:30 pm-11 pm time frame.

Main threat is a couple/few severe gusts.

Level 1 or MARGINAL RISK is up, but there is the potential for upgrade to SLIGHT RISK as current parameters are borderline high-end MARGINAL to SLIGHT RISK.

With the tornado outbreak in Iowa with the smoke, could it happen here?  Not likely.  Smoke will be higher up & we will not have quite the shear that Iowa had tonight.

Pockets of locally-heavy rainfall is possible.

Friday shows a break from any rainfall in the morning overall, then showers & storms in the midday-afternoon to evening.  It is likely that there will be a MARGINAL RISK of severe weather for the southeastern half of the viewing area (along & southeast of a Rochester to Monticello to Boswell line).

Main threat would be isolated severe gust or two.

However, enhanced directional shear could support a brief EF0 tornado.

Pockets of locally-heavy rainfall is possible.

Rainfall totals Thursday evening-Friday rainfall totals of 0.65-3" are possible.  An isolated +3" amount or two is possible.

A storm or two is possible Saturday, followed by warm to hot, humid conditions.

Highs Saturday should run 81-88, followed by 82-88 Sunday, then 83-89 Monday & 85-91 Tuesday & Wednesday.

Dew points will run in the 64-69 range Saturday & Sunday, then 65-72 range Monday-Wednesday with thick smoke returning.

It still looks like we may see a "Ring of Fire" "Ridge Rider" or two at the end of next week to the next weekend on the periphery of hot upper ridge.

However, the widespread smoke from likely record-breaking wildfire season for the western U.S. & Canada will quell the extreme heat with it some.

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Decreasing clouds this afternoon with slightly warmer temperatures
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