JAMESTOWN – The NOAA Storm Prediction Center upgraded the weather risk to an “Enhanced” risk (3/5) for all of Western New York, for the potential for some severe thunderstorms this afternoon.
An area of thunderstorm convection in a QLCS (Quasi Linear Convective System), or simply, a “squall line”, is occurring ahead of a very strong Low back to our west, within a juicy atmosphere.
There is a chance that as the line and the Low crosses the cooler waters of Lake Erie, it may weaken the storm convection, before it reaches Western New York this afternoon.
A strong southwest wind off Lake Erie may protect the Buffalo/metro from severe convection, but away from the lake breeze, upper-air dynamics and convection-allowing computer models suggest that the atmosphere over inland areas will become unstable with early afternoon sunshine, to re-intensify the squall line.
As of the time of writing this post, the Storm Prediction Center is monitoring atmospheric conditions over Western New York, and they are considering a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for this afternoon, with a 60% chance for watch issuance.
Timing: The main timing window for severe activity will be between 3:00 PM this afternoon, and 6:00 PM this evening.
Thunderstorm Impacts: The main concern will be damaging straight-line winds and large hail. However, if the storms within this QLCS feature become cellular, the idea is on the table for some storm rotation, so while a tornado risk this afternoon is low, the potential is not zero.
Make sure you have a way of getting watches and warnings this afternoon, and take action accordingly.
I always recommend a good smartphone app that is specially designed to push warnings. The one I like and recommend is Weather Radio by WDT for iPhone and Android. It is the same app all of us at WNY News Now uses and our families use, and it works very well (we get no kickback from these guys; we just love their app).
Of course, should we get into a situation where we have warnings, we will have the entire weather center fully-staffed for this afternoon, and we will go live with wall-to-wall weather coverage on Facebook Live.