Enhanced (3/5) Risk for Severe Weather for the Black Hills Wednesday

The jet stream is on full blast today, enhancing what little moisture and heat we do have into impressive convective systems. I've got your full breakdown posted below

  • As we saw this morning, the atmosphere is teeming with energy and the ability to produce thunderstorms morning or night.
  • We should get a break late this morning going into the early afternoon, with temperatures struggling to reach the mid to upper 70s in most cases

  • An Enhanced (3/5) risk for Severe weather has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center for portions of the Black Hills Region
  • This is only the 3rd time this year we have received an Enhanced risk for severe weather, and bears watching very closely this afternoon and evening
  • Threats of large hail, damaging winds and Torrential rainfall are included in this designation
  • Newcastle WY, Hot Springs, Edgemont, Custer and Chadron, NE are all in the bullseye of this severe weather threat
  • If you notice on the map, Rapid City, Pine Ridge and Gillette aren’t necessarily in the orange shaded area for strong storms. Mother Nature does not respect our pretty color shaded map, and everyone in the Black Hills Region should be on the alert today, save for perhaps areas North and Northwest of the Black Hills, Yellow and Green shaded areas still represent a chance for severe weather, and on a day like today we really need to be cognoscente of the active environment we’re working in

  • The Hail threat is particularly acute for these thunderstorms, as most of our energy will be elevated and provide plenty of fuel for rapidly rising updrafts
  • Golfball.. or larger hail will be a distinct possibility this afternoon and evening
  • Our confidence is high enough that taking preparations for such an occasion, particularly In Newcastle, Hot Springs and Pine Ridge area is worth the time and effort

  • HAVING THAT SAID – there is trouble in the world of numerical weather models, as we can see displayed on our future-cast radar for this evening
  • This particular model shows nothing for this evening. Zilch. Barely any clouds, zero areas of precipitation. How can this be? Why are we forecasting thunderstorms?

  • Short range models are having a hard time understanding how thunderstorms are supposed to fire off with temperatures barely topping off in the mid 70s, and to the models credit it brings up a valid point. Dew points are also short of that crucial 60° mark we talk about so often, what gives?
  • Most of our energy is coming from a rigorous, aggressive Jet streak that is expected to move into the region later on today.
  • Now, we NEED storms to fire off if they’re expected to tap into the swirling energy just above our heads, but will that happen? We basically have 1 of 3 scenarios here

  1. Temperatures go above and beyond our expectations this afternoon, moisture finds its way into the Black Hills and we have enough surface energy to kick off storms this afternoon which quickly turn severe
  2. We don’t quite meet the temperature and moisture ingredients needed to get storms firing off during the afternoon, and so fuel sits untapped into the evening, where then our powerful Jet Stream will ignite this energy in the overnight hours, bringing us severe weather deep into the early morning of Thursday
  3. Neither ingredients nor the jet stream are able to light the match, fuel never ignites and we are left with what we refer to as “blue sky bust”
  • I’m throwing my lot in with scenario #2 here. I’m a big believer in this powerful jet streak that’s expected to come through, and that in the end we’ll get our boomers later this evening. We just don’t have the ingredients to have a widespread severe event early in the afternoon. Perhaps a few isolated strong storms, but nothing that would have widespread impacts across a large area

  • REGARDLESS of what happens Wednesday, Thursday looks to be a severe weather day as well. We’ll need to keep an eye on the forecast all the way through Saturday
  • There is a glimmer of hope in the future, however. I believe Warm, dry and sunny conditions are very likely starting Sunday and going into next week

You guys know the drill, Hope for the best and prepare for the forecasted conditions. I’m crossing my fingers for a scenario #3 here, because honestly we got alot of folks who are still trying to dry out from this summer, and we have several days of strong to severe weather we’re expecting for the region regardless of what happens Wednesday. A break before Thursday and Friday would be welcome in this regard. We’re going to keep a close eye on this over the next couple of days, and send you pertinent information as it becomes available. Once again, we appreciate you checking in with us. Be safe out there guys! – Brant

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