The atmosphere is exceptionally unstable today. There is a tremendous amount of POTENTIAL energy in the atmosphere but it’s unclear if we will be able to tap that energy. This is a look at how much Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) is forecast to be in the atmosphere at 5 p.m. this afternoon. The red shading is over 3000 j/kg which is extremely unstable!!!
We will need something to release this energy. Normally a cold front is what lifts the air to take advantage of this instability but that is not present today. A weak backdoor cold front (this is much weaker than our computer models were forecasting a few days ago) may be enough to get the ball rolling.
It remains unclear if we will have a “trigger” to release this instability. We will have to watch northern New England and New York later today for thunderstorm development. If storms can develop there during the afternoon it’s possible they will move south and trigger additional thunderstorms in Connecticut.
Currently I’m forecasting a “low” threat for severe thunderstorms and a high, “elevated” threat across northern New England. Any storms that do form will quickly become severe given the amount of instability present. These storms will likely be “pulse” storms that flare up and quickly die back down.
For the latest follow me on twitter through the afternoon for details on the severe weather threat.