05/17 Ryan’s “Outflow” Thursday Afternoon Forecast
Today showcased another afternoon dominated by outflow induced showers and thunderstorms. Much like yesterday, a few of these systems managed to develop severe traits like hail and gusting winds. These types of storms are nearly impossible to predict due to the “random” nature of their development. An outflow boundary is created by downdrafts within the storm, which have been cooled by the rain and upper levels, then are forced to the surface where they spread out. This cooler, more dense air essentially acts as a cold front, forcing the warmer air upward. In a conditionally unstable atmosphere (like a hot and humid afternoon), this will begin the process of convection as the warm air rises, cools, then condenses. This process eventually leads to a shower or thunderstorm which can create its own downdraft, starting the process all over again. That’s why while much of South MS enjoyed a mostly sunny and hot day, a few inland areas saw hail and lightning, which is what makes “summertime” forecasting quite difficult. Expect many more of these days ahead, but with a slightly lower chance of rain through the weekend.