Mesoscale Discussion 1544
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
1135 AM CDT Tue Aug 17 2021
Areas affected...western Carolinas
Concerning...Tornado Watch 444...
Valid 171635Z - 171800Z
The severe weather threat for Tornado Watch 444 continues.
SUMMARY...The risk for a tornado will likely focus through the
midday and into the early afternoon in two areas: 1) occasional
strengthening of storm-scale rotation in the more prominent band
east of the circulation center, and 2) with developing convection
over west-central NC moving northwestward into a baroclinic zone.
DISCUSSION...Midday surface analysis indicates a sharpening
baroclinic zone over the western Carolinas in a north-south line
from near/immediately east of Spartanburg, SC northward to 35 mi
northeast of Hickory, NC. Temperatures east of the boundary have
warmed into the upper 70s over SC Piedmont and slightly warmer
farther north into NC with lower 80s observed near Charlotte. A
very moisture rich airmass featuring mid 70s surface dewpoints in
combination with some heating will yield sufficient buoyancy for
sustained strong updraft development for a couple of storms. It
seems the most vorticity rich low levels will continue to be near
the boundary. The Greer, SC 88D VAD shows an enlarged hodograph
with 100-150 m2/s2 0-1 km SRH when accounting for observed storm
motions. Given the adequate buoyancy/SRH in place, a couple of
supercells with an occasional tornado threat seems probable through
the early and into the mid afternoon.
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