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SPC Jan 3, 2024 0600 UTC Day 1 Convective Outlook

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SPC 1200Z Day 1 Outlook
Day 1 Outlook Image
Day 1 Convective Outlook  
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
1139 PM CST Tue Jan 02 2024

Valid 031200Z - 041200Z


Severe thunderstorms are not expected today through tonight.

Thunderstorm potential for today and tonight will primarily be
driven by two upper lows as they traverse the northern Gulf Coast
and the lower Colorado River Valley regions. Meager buoyancy is
expected to modulate the potential for organized convection for most
locations, with perhaps the exception of the FL west coast. 

...Gulf Coast/FL West Coast..
The first of these waves is noted in water-vapor imagery over
central TX with an attendant surface low beginning to deepen off the
TX Gulf Coast. Objective analyses and surface observations show a
broad baroclinic zone - the remnants of a prior frontal intrusion
into the Gulf/FL peninsula - draped to the east/southeast. The
surface low is forecast to propagate along this effective warm front
across the northern Gulf over the next 24 hours, reaching the FL
west coast by early Thursday morning. Robust convection attendant to
the low appears probable over the Gulf given strong (45-55 knots at
500 mb) flow aloft and recent radar trends. However, 00 UTC
soundings across FL sampled an anomalously dry air mass (PWAT values
well below the 10th percentile for early January) as a result of the
recent frontal intrusion. While some moistening is expected to occur
through the day ahead of the approaching low, establishing a quality
warm sector inland prior to the arrival of stronger ascent seems
unlikely. This idea is reflected in latest CAM ensemble guidance as
convective signatures diminish with landfall, suggesting that the
potential for organized convection over land is low. That said, a
few forecast soundings hint that adequate low-level theta-e may
materialize along the immediate FL west coast (including the Tampa
Bay area) to support strong, surface-based convection. Given the
aforementioned kinematics, this suggests a conditional threat for an
organized cell or two. This potential remains too limited to
introduce probabilities, but low-level theta-e trends will be

...California into AZ/NM...
Cooler temperatures aloft and strong ascent associated with the
upper low over the eastern Pacific are currently supporting sporadic
lightning flashes off and along the northern CA coast. Steepening
mid-level lapse rates due to differential temperature advection and
broadscale ascent, coupled with a modest influx of mid-level
maritime moisture, is expected to support marginal instability in
the vicinity of the upper trough as it shifts to the east/southeast
over the next 24 hours. Consequently, isolated lightning flashes
seem probable along the CA coast, across parts of southern NV, and
over AZ/western NM through early Thursday morning.

..Moore.. 01/03/2024

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