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Storm Team Wednesday evening forecast (12/19/2012)

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-19 15:23:00-05

Though weather conditions remain mild and rather pleasant this afternoon and evening, the pattern will swiftly change over the next 24 hours to lead to additional cloudiness, rain, and storms.  Late tonight, the high-pressure ridge that dominated our weather today will continue to migrate eastward, enhancing the southeast and southerly wind flow.  A strong area of low pressure in the central Plains along with its cold front will take the place of the high pressure system, advancing eastward through Thursday.  Winds will increase Thursday morning and remain high, especially offshore, through the afternoon and evening.  The onshore wind will increase moisture into the region, as well as into the approaching storm system.  The combination of these features will cause warmer, humid, and overcast conditions by afternoon, setting the stage for areas of rain and thunderstorms.  With the extra wind forces in play, some thunderstorms are likely to contain gusty winds in excess of 50 mph, and there's a slight chance for tornado development along and just ahead of the line of storms moving through the area from west to east Thursday afternoon and evening.

Severe weather chances are higher than normal, and there are chances for severe-related watches and warnings being issued for parts of the area Thursday afternoon and evening.  Stay in touch with the Storm Team here, on social media, on Weather NOW channel 27.3, and, of course, during our main newscasts and all the details you need to know.

Lows tonight will be in the upper 40s and lower 50s, warming a bit by sunrise, and continuing to climb well into the 70s by the afternoon.  Temps will be much colder Friday and through the weekend, with freezes possible on weekend mornings.