Slim chance of strong to severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The grinding heat and moisture that pushed heat indices into the triple digits Wednesday afternoon will also leave the door open for stronger thunderstorms with the threat of damaging wind gusts and hail during the afternoon and evening.
A level-2 (slight) risk of severe weather was in place for most of the Big Bend and South Georgia by the Storm Prediction Center for the rest of Wednesday. No watches have been issued and, so far, none appeared to be planned.
Though the environment is favorable for strong to severe thunderstorms, the triggering mechanism remained unclear until thunderstorms developed in Southeast Georgia late Wednesday afternoon.
As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, one-minute-resolution satellite imagery from GOES-16 showed thickening cumulus clouds over central South Carolina, showing a hint of potential thunderstorm development. By 4 p.m., the batch of clouds turned into showers and storms as it passed north of Savannah, Ga. and was moving southwest.
The atmosphere continued to look prime for strong to severe thunderstorms based on data from a 3-p.m. weather balloon launch from the Tallahassee National Weather Service Forecast Office. Though shear was low (as it typically is in the South during the summer months), but the air was dry enough to keep a threat of damaging wind gusts and small hail in place. Convective energy also remained high, based on the weather balloon data.
Meanwhile, a Heat Advisory remained in effect for the entire Big Bend and South Georgia and surrounding areas. Heat index values of 105 to 110 degrees remained in play. Some reporting stations were already in that range as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of the storm potential as the afternoon and evening progress.
This story was updated to reflect new satellite and weather balloon data.
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