Breaking Down Monday’s Severe Threat

What started off as a wonderful Sunday has made way to increasing cloud cover and scattered showers this afternoon. Temperatures were able to achieve the mid 60s thanks to stout, southerly winds earlier, so at least we had that going for us…

via giphy

Cloud cover will hang around tonight, before potential inclement weather arrives as we get into the start of the work week. With that in mind, we figured a post breaking down Monday’s severe threat would make sense.

The Setup

At the surface, an area of low pressure will position itself on the south side of the Great Lakes region, intensifying in the process.

An associated, strong cold front will wrap itself southwest through the Ohio and Tennessee Valley’s, slicing right through the heart of south central Kentucky:


Ahead of the front, warm, moisture-packed air will stream northeast into the area, which will help prime our atmosphere for a possible severe weather event.

Taking a look above the surface at the 700mb level (that’s roughly ~10,000 feet above your head up in the atmosphere), enhanced lift from a shortwave trough will help aid in the organization of a storm complex.

Why is this important? Lift is a very important part of thunderstorm development, along with moisture, instability, and shear.

Here’s a look at the 700mb level winds, valid from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning:


Obviously, the winds pick up immensely as the line moves through.

Timing And Impacts

The latest guidance has come into agreement on a Monday night event unfolding, which isn’t ideal, because…

  1. Most people are sleeping
  2. You can’t see anything at night

Although we’ll have to monitor any development of cells ahead of the line during the late afternoon hours, our focus is more on the 9p – 3a time frame. This is when we anticipate a squall line, or multiple squall lines, to move west to east across the area.

Here’s a look at the latest NAM 3km model, which illustrates an ominous picture for us during this time:


A variety of threats will come along with this system, should the parameters hold. It appears that we’ll be dealing with a possible classic severe weather event for the fall season, known as a QLCS.

Our greatest threat will be the possibility of damaging winds. With stout wind available just above the surface, any storm will be able to bring those winds down the ground. Secure any loose lawn decor/furniture, and don’t forget about God’s frisbees…aka trampolines.

Another common trait with these events are short-lived tornadoes, spawning rapidly along the clashes of air along the leading edge of any squall line that forms.

It should also be noted that training thunderstorms will also be possible, which may present a flooding concern…

via giphopotamo

…that’s one way to go about it, I suppose.

Confidence Level

With all things considered, this is a very complex, difficult forecast setup. Many things will need to take shape in order for this event to unfold. Any alterations will bring obvious changes to the forecast.

As we all know, the weather does what it wants. We just take it upon ourselves to inform you, our readers, of what potential impacts could accompany the system when/if it arrives.

With that being said, the latest outlook from the pros at the Storm Prediction Center have included the entire region in a 3/5 risk (enhanced) for severe weather Monday night.

Here’s a look at our latest infographic for a better explanation of what that exactly means:

As with any weather event, you shouldn’t be scared, you should be prepared. Keep a guaranteed way of being notified of any watches/warnings, especially with the timing being at night. Smartphone app/text alerts are one way to go, but a NOAA weather radio is the best option.

Our friends at @NashSevereWx put out this tweet earlier this afternoon, which is a nice, concise list of important tidbits to remember should you come under the threat of a tornado:

We’ll be updating our real-time weather feed frequently over the next 24-36 hours. You can always find the latest updated info there —> @wxornotBG.

Enjoy your night!