Monday, May 11, 2015

Early Summer Algae Forecast

There will be algae on Lake Erie this summer. No question about that. But just how big will the bloom be? It's tough to know exactly for sure at this point but below is an early indication of how much phosphorous has come down the Maumee River this spring. That phosphorous is one of the main 'fuels' that feed algae blooms. So far the numbers have been near average and slightly lower than last year. The charts below are provided by Laura Johnson from the National Center for Water Quality Research.

Severe Potential -- Greatest Of The Season

It takes a full mixing bowl of ingredients to create an atmosphere that produces severe weather.  Today, many of the ingredients come together for the greatest severe potential across the area of this season.  The outlook for thunderstorms, some potentially severe will be greatest between the hours of 3 PM to 7 PM.  It all starts with the atmosphere aloft:  

500 mb flow aloft and atmospheric water vapor.
 The divergent flow aloft and increasing shear provide the lift, shear and dynamics for potential severe storms. 
Other necessary ingredients include CAPE (Convectively Available Potential Energy) which provides the energy for storms.  This energy comes in the form higher moisture in the air and sunshine during the day.
CAPE values approach 1,500 j/kg or greater this afternoon

Severe threat will include damaging winds, small hail, dangerous lightning and a potential tornado.  Be alert and aware!

Greatest Severe Threat After 3 PM
Hour By Hour potential storms at 5:30 PM

Hour By Hour potential storms at 7 PM this evening
Stay with the WTOL StormTrack Weather team for details and coverage this afternoon and evening!
~Meteorologist Chris Vickers