CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – We are in the middle of our severe weather season here in western Massachusetts, but what do we look for to create strong or severe thunderstorms?
You need these ingredients and they spell out the word SLIM. Shear, Lift, Instability and Moisture.
Shear is wind change with height. Either wind speed changing or wind direction changing with height.
Lift helps air rise and this is usually the mechanism that helps to get storms going.
Instability is the storms energy. The more instability you have the more clouds can build and this is often aided by heating during the afternoons and evenings. That’s why we often get storms during that time of day.
Moisture is the higher humidity we feel. Dew points in the 60s and 70s provides enough humidity to help with storm and cloud development closer to the ground.
If you don’t have all ingredients, or all ingredients but low amounts of them then you can get storms that aren’t as strong or severe. All things we will watch out for the next couple of months.