Why severe weather goes where it does

Its been a stormy last couple of days here in Western Massachusetts.

Lightning cloud seen from Ludlow. (Report-It: Krzysztof Gibadlo)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been a stormy last couple of days here in Western Massachusetts. The 22News Storm Team Meteorologist is working for you with what makes more locations more prone to severe weather versus others.

Hadley, Amherst, and Monson were all places hit by some kind of storm Friday evening.

Summertime can be a bit tough when forecasting where a storm will pop up and how strong, or severe, it will be. But summer is the best time for stronger thunderstorms.

Strong to severe thunderstorms rely on a couple ingredients that help to destabilize the atmosphere, or make the atmosphere more prone to active weather

If one location has all these ingredients, you can most likely expect a stronger thunderstorm, which usually happens in the afternoon and evening when it is more hot and humid. Although severe weather is possible at any point of the day.

The main four ingredients for strong to severe thunderstorms are, instability, wind shear, lifting, and moisture.

Instability or the release of instability causes air to accelerate in a vertical motion which is needed to form thunderstorms. Wind shear is a significant increase of wind speed or direction with height. Lifting is air forced to rise and lastly moisture, is basically your dew points, severe thunderstorms are more likely at a dew point of 55 or higher.

For a thunderstorm to be considered severe is must create hail of one inch in diameter or larger and wind speeds of 58 mph or greater.

Remember a watch means an area is prone to severe weather where a warning means severe weather is occurring and to take shelter.

More Information:
– Local Forecast – Weather Text Alerts
– Temperatures – Weather Email Alerts
– Weather News WWLP 22News Weather App
– Interactive Radar – Live Area Webcams

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