SPC 0830Z Day 3 Outlook

Day 3 Outlook Image

Day 3 Convective Outlook  
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0155 AM CST Thu Dec 17 2020

Valid 191200Z - 201200Z


The risk for severe thunderstorms appears negligible across the
U.S., Saturday through Saturday night.

Much of North America will remain under the influence of branching
westerlies emanating from the mid-latitude and subtropical Pacific,
but broad mid/upper ridging developing within this regime may spread
inland of the Pacific coast during this period.  Downstream, as one
short wave trough digs across the southern Rockies and another
southeast of the Canadian Prairies, it appears that a short wave
trough, initially over the southern Great Plains at 12Z Saturday,
will pivot east-northeastward through the lower Ohio and Tennessee
Valleys by late Saturday night.  

A significant surface cyclone, initially developing to the lee of
the Canadian Rockies, is forecast to accompany the northern
perturbation into northwestern Ontario by the end of the period. 
Models indicate that this will trail an initially more significant
cyclone over Hudson Bay, with a developing cold front within weak
surface troughing trailing southward across the upper Great Lakes
into the southeastern Great Plains.  However, they suggest little in
the way of substantive wave development along this boundary as it
continues to shift east of the Mississippi Valley.

Modest moisture return emanating from the southwestern Gulf of
Mexico may reach northwestern Gulf coastal areas by 12Z Saturday. 
While this may spread inland across upper Texas coastal areas,
mostly above a residual surface based stable layer, it appears that
it will only contribute to very weak CAPE as far north as the lower
Mississippi Valley.

...Southeastern Great Plains into Gulf States...
Weak destabilization associated with pre-cold frontal elevated
moisture return may support increasing convection capable of
producing lightning in a corridor across northeastern Texas through 
central Arkansas early Saturday.  This likely will be aided by
forcing for ascent ahead of the approaching short wave trough.

As the short wave impulse turns east-northeast of the southern Great
Plains, models suggest that one tightening low-level thermal
gradient ahead of the cold front (roughly in the 925-850 mb layer),
near its intersection, may provide a focus for continuing weak
thunderstorm activity.  Due to spread among the various model
output, how far east remains a little unclear, but low probabilities
for thunderstorms may extend as far east as north central Georgia by
late Saturday night.

Models suggest that another corridor of favorable ascent may support
thunderstorm development southeastward into better low-level
moisture and instability across southeast Texas and southern
Louisiana.  However, any intensification into more vigorous
thunderstorms capable of posing an appreciable severe threat
probably will be confined to northwestern into north central Gulf of

..Kerr.. 12/17/2020

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