Severe Thunderstorm Chances for Great Lakes Tuesday
WISCONSIN – We are starting to sound like a broken record the past few months will all of the severe activity we have been talking about in the upper Midwest. We have another chance for strong to severe thunderstorms to move through today.
The upper level jet stream tells us a lot about why the weather is the way that it is. In this case, the jet stream takes a dip through the upper Midwest and the area highlighted in white is what we call a “jet streak”. This is also known as the core of the jet, where the winds are strongest. We can often see this bringing in stronger thunderstorms at the surface.
As we head down to the lower levels of the atmosphere, how the winds change with height will allow for us to understand if storms will be rotating and the direction they will move. In this case, the 850 mb jet stream is showing is a southwesterly wind in these areas. This means that storms could potentially be rotating but also being fueled by warmer Gulf moisture too.
The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a slight risk (level 2, on a scale of 1 to 5) for severe thunderstorms. The main threat with these storms will be occasional severe wind gusts through Tuesday evening. This includes cities like Wausau, La Crosse, Green Bay, Madison and Rochester up into the UP of Michigan too.
We also have the risk for an isolated tornado through Central Wisconsin.
This afternoon, the cold front enters areas where surface based heating and the lift from the front itself could initiate some rowdier thunderstorms. This includes the Upper peninsula of Michigan where we can expect some stronger storms.
Carrying on throughout the evening hours, storms could become organized in a line and this typically enhances straight line winds that may become damaging.
Most activity will die down late Tuesday night and early Wednesday with heavy rain, but non-severe weather, lingering from Michigan down through northern Illinois.
Our forecast models generally show less than .5″ of rainfall across these areas.
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