Morning Sounding

It’s early in the morning, and while we’re waiting for the storms to develop, I figured that if you’re up right now, then either you have a bad case of insomnia, or you’re so anxious to hear the first rumble of thunder of the day, that you’re busy reading weather models. So, let’s see if we’re seeing the same thing. Here is the sounding from the RUC model, timestamped at 1000Z, which is 4am here. Do you see what I see?

The airmass is obviously saturated here near the surface as we notice the dewpoint depression is quite low, less 3 or 4 degrees. That’s wet! Up until about 5800 feet, we notice the column of air stays saturated, and then bam! You start to see the blue and red line separate from eachother rather quickly. This indicates some dry air above. And, it’s that very same dry air that can lead to problems here on the ground. As storms develop in this environment, they start to encounter this dry air. As the moisture falls in this sounding, it begins to cool (i.e. evaporative cooling). As this process continues, it increases the negative buoyancy which then results in microbursts. Hail is usually quite small in soundings like this, around 3/4″ to perhaps 1 inch if we stretch it. So, what am I most concerned about this morning? Winds! But, it’s Oklahoma… we’re used to the winds right? Winds could approach 58 mph. Tornado threat looks very low.

-Damon

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