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Severe weather possible Wednesday, followed by fair weather into the weekend

Dave Hayes maintains a daily blog on Facebook (facebook.com/WesternMassWeather), where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 33,000 followers informed and educated about the weather.

Hello and good day to you, Windham County folks! I hope things are well with you. We’ve been dealing with humid, showery, very warm and stormy conditions for the past several days.

The severe weather threat will peak on Wednesday before a cold front moves through Thursday and washes all of this muggy air out to sea.

Thereafter, Friday into early next week looks to be generally seasonable, dry, fair, mostly sunny and cooler — a welcome change from this summery soup we’ve been having, at least according to this writer. Having painted the weekly weather picture, let’s jump into the daily details!

For Wednesday, we have a number of atmospheric factors coalescing to produce a severe weather outbreak. However, we may be fortunate in that if enough scattered showers and a few thunderstorms accompany the warm frontal passage Wednesday morning through southern Vermont, this could create enough cloud debris to inhibit surface heating (a.k.a., “insolation”) which would lessen atmospheric instability.

This would be the ideal scenario, and would lead to more showers and non-severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Barring that, the other potential is that the warm front passes through with a few showers and thunderstorms Wednesday morning.

Thereafter, we get clearing and breaks in the cloud deck, leading to surface heating which would aid destabilization in the lower levels, along with steep low lapse rates (the lapse rate is the rate of change in air temperature from surface to sky), and possibly strong mid-level lapse rates, too.

With some turning of the wind in the low levels expected and a moist destabilized air mass, the potential exists for numerous strong to severe thunderstorms capable of localized damaging wind gusts, large hail, torrential rain, frequent lightning, and a weak tornado is possible, though climatologically unfavorable for southern Vermont. Still, the potential exists.

Any showers and storms should weaken and begin to dissipate after sunset. Highs will be in the upper 70s to low 80s on Wednesday, with lows in the low to mid 60s.

Thursday will feature a cold frontal passage which will produce more showers and downpours, and thunderstorms can’t be ruled out. Highs will be in the 75-to-80 degree range with lows in the mid 50s as drier air works in behind the front.

Friday through next Tuesday look gorgeous, as of this writing! Highs will be in the upper 60s to low 70s for the high terrain with lows in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Highs will be in the low to mid 70s for the lower terrain with lows in the low to mid 50s. Expect mostly sunny skies, lower humidity, and generally dry conditions. Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #524 (Wednesday, August 21, 2019). This story appeared on page A6.

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