The models are still insistent in bringing a chance of high altitude precipitation this afternoon with maximum CAPE values occurring around noon today. As I said earlier, I don’t think it would translate to any precipitation below 10,000 feet. Here are the predicted CAPE values for noon today.
For comparison’s sake, I looked back at the CAPE value during the period that the lightning strike occurred leading to the East Canyon fire and it was around 1300. While we are not going to see values anywhere near that in most areas, 400 is the number that is usually the minimum that I look at for convective activity.
The models are looking for that energy to move across the state and unsettle the atmosphere between noon and 3pm. Here are the models’ depictions for that time period. Green is rain, blue is snow, the darker the color the higher the likelihood that the precipitation will reach the ground rather than evaporate.
Whenever I look at a CAPE forecast I have to compare it to the cloud cover percentage forecast. CAPE is affected by surface heating, and cloud cover affects surface heating.
Here was the cloud cover percentage forecast for 9 am.
A quick look out the window shows this is not going to verify for 9am, therefore there may be a problem with the CAPE forecast. Not a guarantee but hopefully the CAPE forecast doesn’t verify, because any thunderstorms that do pop will be dry in most areas. A dry thunderstorm is a thunderstorm that has winds and lightning and any precipitation that develops evaporates before it hits the ground (virga).
If you hear some thunder this afternoon, click the contact button and let me know where. My MODIS and VIIRS satellite feed can detect a fire start usually within 3 hours or less of when it strikes.
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