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Oh why not start meteorological spring off with a convective bang?! Wednesday – March 1st – looks to be a rumbly kind of afternoon across much of the Mid-Atlantic. SPC has almost all of Virginia in a Day 3 Slight Risk:va_swody3-copy

Today’s 12Z 4 km NAM is hinting at discrete cells ahead of an approaching line during the late afternoon:nam4kmma_prec_radar_057

The 4 km NAM forecast CAPE is >1000 J/kg and 0-6 km shear values are over 70 kts at the time of this graphic. Cell motions are well over 50 kts to the ENE!! (The 12Z GFS is less ballistic but it does show a classic high shear / low CAPE setup.)

This obviously bears watching as a Day 3 SPC Slight Risk is nothing to sneeze at. Whether it will result in a squall line (can we say shelf clouds and strong straight-line winds?) or discrete storms is still TBD. But with those predicted storm velocities the location where I choose to start the chase will be critical. These things will be zooming along at better than highway speeds.