MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) — Lately in April, if it's Saturday, it's a stormy day. This weekend appears to follow that trend, except there's a little more severe-weather potential compared to the last few events.
Details are tough to come by (like timing, precisely where, exactly how many severe storms), but for several days now, the forecast data we can access have consistently suggested severe weather in and around the tri-state Saturday.
A multi-day severe-weather forecast is similar to being nearsighted and identifying a distant traffic sign. Your eyes tell your brain that the message board is there and displaying something, but the vision is fuzzy and you can't quite make out what it says.
As you get closer to the sign, you can start to see the details of the marquee. Your corrective lenses probably help distinguish the layout of the letters on the sign.
Once you're right upon the road sign, the vision is made much clearer and you can read what it says without much difficulty.
Weather forecast data clarity is very similar. Several days ahead, we can see the signals that can lead to severe thunderstorm activity, but the details of what kinds of severe storms, how many, and precisely where are very challenging to determine that soon.
As the targeted forecast day comes nearer, we can start getting a firmer grasp of some of the ingredients that will go into the storm setup. Shorter-range forecast modeling can act as the corrective lens that adds some magnification to the forecast.
On the day before and the day of expected severe weather, there are many fine-tuned, short-term and frequently updated forecast info sources to tap into, leading to more precise expectations and real-time tracking of storms.
The Storm Prediction Center started highlighting the Big Bend, southern Georgia, and surrounding regions Tuesday with a "Day 5 severe weather outlook." The long-range models suggest severe storms organizing within the area, days ahead of their more detailed Day 1, 2, and 3 forecasts that outline the specific levels of risk. The Wednesday outlook for Saturday's storms equates to a "slight" risk for scattered severe thunderstorms. The SPC will begin showing specific risk levels for Saturday starting with their outlook to be released Thursday morning.
It's a good idea to stay connected to First Alert Weather in the next couple of days as we gain greater insight into the weekend severe-weather risk. If and when it occurs, we'll keep you in the know until the storms are gone and the sun shines brightly again.