First Defense: Slight Risk for Strong To Severe Storms This Afternoon

JAMESTOWN – The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has outlined the far southern portion of the Southern Tier under the standard “Slight” Risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.
An area of showers and thunderstorms are flaring ahead of a strong Cold front with a deepening Low back to our west. These storms are also over unstable air masses, raising the threat for some severe convection.
The atmosphere over Western New York is not as volatile as the atmosphere to our west. However, there is enough unstableness in the upper levels to push a few storms to strong to severe limits.
Timing: The main timing window to catch some of these storms that could be strong will be between 3:00 PM this afternoon, and 8:00 PM this evening.
Thunderstorm Impacts: The main concern with storms today will be damaging winds around 60 MPH. A touch of small hail cannot be ruled out, but I don’t think we’ll see a lot of that.
One thing that we have to look at is, how much sunshine will we see in between the breaks of rain? If we see some peaks of sun this afternoon, that may help to further fuel thunderstorm development, as sunshine makes the air more unstable. If we keep the clouds over top of us, that will keep temperatures down, and help reduce the overall threat.
Either way, the threat is NOT zero, and will require close monitoring this afternoon.
Make sure you have a way of getting watches and warnings, and take action accordingly.
I always recommended 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).