Monday we welcomed the official start of astronomical spring. (We started meteorological spring on March 1st.)
Spring time resembles new life. Flowers blooming, trees budding, animals coming from hibernation, and severe weather season.
The Carolinas face a threat of severe weather on Tuesday. Currently most locations in the Carolinas are running in the 70's and even some 80 degree temperatures.
This evening all eyes turn to an approaching cold front expected to move through the area.
The setup looks favorable for some strong to severe storms to develop in the Upstate of South Carolina and the Piedmont areas of North Carolina.
Lapse rates look fairly favorable. This means the temperature is decreasing rapidly the higher you go in the atmosphere. This will also be favorable for hail development. (Green line that zig zags back and forth, represents the lapse rates)
Graphic: Pivotal Weather
There is also a cap on the atmosphere. The CAP prevents the parcel of air to rise above the cap, kind of like a CAP on a soda bottle. But it is expected to break down allowing those parcels of air to rise above the cap, giving us the potential of seeing some severe thunderstorms. Best example is like shaking a soda bottle once that cap is off the soda goes everywhere. Once the parcels of air break the cap, storms will likely form. Really powerful storms tend to be tall in nature.
There will also be some CAPE to work with. CAPE stands for Convective Available Potential Energy. This is basically fuel for a thunderstorm. The more CAPE, the increased chances at seeing some storms develop. CAPE levels are over 2,000 j/kg in the Upstate of South Carolina and over 1,000 j/kg along the Interstate 40 corridor in North Carolina.
As of the Noon Tuesday, The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a 'Marginal Threat' of severe weather (Level 1 out 5) in much of North Carolina. A few locations in North Carolina are under a 'Slight' or 'Enhanced Risk.' In South Carolina a Slight Threat (Level 2 out of 5) has been issued for the Upstate South Carolina area.
So if you live in the Upstate of South Carolina area or portions of the Piedmont of North Carolina, be on the look out for some isolated-to-scattered strong-to-severe thunderstorms Tuesday evening.