High pressure continues to depart the area Easter Sunday as clouds increase across the area. Showers will overspread much of central Maryland and northern Maryland by mid to late afternoon with widespread heavy rain developing overnight. Off to our south Flash Flood Watches are already up for a good chunk of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee where our weather is coming from.
These areas could see 3-6"+ worth of rainfall on top of a big time severe weather outbreak that includes long track tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. For that reason the Storm Prediction Center has place these area under a "Level 4 Moderate Risk" for severe weather with the potential of a rare "High Risk" to be issued Sunday as new model runs come in. For us the risk is a "Level 1" marginal at this time as storms stay embedded in pockets of heavy rain late Sunday into the wee hours of Monday morning.
The real severe weather show doesn't get going here in Maryland until Monday morning. Throughout the day Saturday (April 11th, 2020) models continued to indicate a growing threat of severe weather during the mid Monday morning time-frame. A strong low level jet aloft at 5,000 ft and a pretty potent frontal boundary coming in from the west to provide the lift to get things going. You combine these two things with dew-points in the 50s and 60s and air temperatures punching toward 80 degrees to get most of the ingredients necessary for severe weather to develop.
We could be looking at a line of storms mid Monday morning similar to what we had with the tornado outbreak February 7th, 2020. The line will most likely feature limited thunder and lightning while packing damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. This will be a widespread threat so now is the time to prepare. Have batteries in a flashlight and a plan of action ready to go for when a warning is issued. Keep your cellphone charge and make sure to activate the WEA (Emergency Alerts) which can be found in the settings tab under messaging on both your Apple and Android devices.
Storms should be through by midday with a secondary round of action to follow into the early afternoon. This round will be less severe but will pack the primary threat out of all this mess which is wind. High Wind Watches are already up to our west and est as a result with an expansion to a High Wind Warning area-wide most likely late Sunday into Monday.
Severe storms will have winds up to 60-80mph but behind the front we could see a sustained period of time with gusts of 60-70 mph through Monday afternoon and early Monday evening. Now this is not set in stone of course since we are a day out from the event but confidence is growing. While preparing for severe weather Sunday please take the time to tie down any loose items outdoors especially trash cans and patio furniture so they do not end up in your neighbors yard or even down the street.
Wind gusts will die down slowly Monday night with breezy and chillier conditions come Tuesday. There is even a chance at some rain and snow Tuesday night in to Wednesday and then again Wednesday night into Thursday as our potent trough of cold air digs in. Welcome to the wild swings of Spring folks, it's gonna be a bumpy ride into the middle of April but will get through. Stay tuned for further updates as models continue to change on this impending weather event.
-Meteorologist Erik Taylor