|WHY MORNING SOUNDING IS NOT|
A GOOD INDICATOR OF SEVERE WEATHER
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Many of the severe weather index value are enhanced by the following ingredients: warm at surface, humid
in lower troposphere,
unstable, strong surface winds,
wind speed changing speed and direction with height.
It is the morning time when the troposphere tends to be most stable, when wind speeds are less,
and when surface temperatures are coolest. This is why a morning sounding is not always a good
severe weather. However, if it is already warm, humid, unstable with strong winds at the
surface then you can expect the sounding to become even more favorable for severe weather later in
the day provided the unstable air mass remains over the area.
A morning sounding may not be a good indicator for severe weather later in the day because the
atmosphere can change through several processes even if the morning sounding looks great for
severe weather. A few are given below:
Cold Air Advection (cold front) passage makes troposphere more stable
Drier air may advect in at the surface reducing the storm chance
Cap aloft could strengthen during the day
There may not be a lifting mechanism to initiate storms
Wind shear could weaken
It is a good idea to look at forecast soundings using model data to get an idea of how the morning
sounding will change during the day.