CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With temperatures in the 90s Sunday along with strong thunderstorms, many in western Massachusetts woke up to chilly air Monday morning.
In the last 24 hours, there was a big change in temperatures. Sunday, Springfield hit 93 degrees and Monday morning it was in the 50s with highs only in the 70s. Along with the heat came a round of severe storms Sunday evening that damaged trees, brought down power lines, and even damaged some roofs. All of this was associated with a cold front.
A cold front moves twice as fast as a warm front. As a cold front moves into an area, heavier and denser cool air pushes under the lighter less dense warm air, causing it to rise up into the troposphere. As this warm air rises, this causes lift in the atmosphere and instability creating thunderstorms.
Sunday’s air was hot and humid, as that cold front approached the round of thunderstorms came through with it giving way to cold and dry air behind it which is the weather on Monday.
When it comes to thunderstorm development, it needs a warm and humid day which was on Sunday. As the day heats up temperature-wise, warm moist air rises from the surface into the cloud tops. The warm moist air forms clouds in which the atmosphere, when unstable, can make the clouds taller and taller. This usually happens when there is a lot of sun during the day creating instability. This is what fuels the thunderstorms. Once the thunderstorm runs out of warm moist air to fuel it, it will die down and be over.