Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, Thunderstorms Threaten Area Wednesday | NBC 10 Philadelphia
NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, Thunderstorms Threaten Area Wednesday

Strong thunderstorms could be moving through the area Wednesday as temperatures reach highs into the 60s. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016)

MOISTURE (AND WARMTH) FROM THE SOUTH HEADED OUR WAY

Tuesday night was a deadly one in the southern United States, with several tornadoes destroying hundreds of homes. That system will bring us rain on Wednesday. Fortunately, we’re not expecting the storms to be as intense here, but they will pack a punch.

INGREDIENT 1: WARM TEMPS

We’re looking at another unseasonably warm day, with a high in the low 60s. There may even be a few 65s out there! Those warm temps will continue into the evening. All of that warmth gives us some really unstable air.

INGREDIENT 2: STRONG (ONSHORE) SURFACE WINDS

During the afternoon and evening Wednesday, winds will be in the 20 MPH range, with gusts up to 40 in Philadelphia and 50 along the Shore. There will be a period of several hours with frequent gusts. That, combined with the rain, could be enough to bring some trees and limbs down.

INGREDIENT 3: SCREAMING LOW LEVEL JET OUT OF THE SOUTH

Right along the coast, there’s a very healthy low level jet of about 100 MPH. That’s a river of air a few thousand feet above the ground that will provide moist air and instability. Thunderstorms are more intense and organized when there’s a lot of shear (a sharp increase in wind speed from the ground to the lower levels of the atmosphere). As a result, South Jersey and Delaware have been put into a “marginal risk” area for severe weather. Don’t let the term marginal fool you, there is a good chance we’ll see some severe thunderstorms somewhere in our area tomorrow.

INGREDIENT 4: RAIN

There’s also a fair amount of rain associated with this system. The most rain will fall in areas of localized downpours and thunderstorms, where some flooding is possible. Those spots could see 2” of rain. Most people will see around an inch of rain, but all of that will come in a very short period of time.

On the bright side, we dry out for the weekend, with temps right around where they should be for this time of year.

Stay with NBC10 for the latest updates on the storm. 

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