8/30/05 FCST: VA / NC Piedmont

Will go ahead and start a forecast discussion for anyone interested, as SPC has delineated a moderate risk for severe weather over the Virginia and North Carolina Piedmont region today. Tornado threat is explicity mentioned in our local forecast here in Richmond, as soon as early this afternoon. Broad circulations of tropical low, passing well to our west, expected to provide farily strong dynamics given sufficient daytime heating - enhanced by upslope flow. Based on this morning's observations, especially visible satellite - looks like destabilization of boundary layer will be the biggest question mark. Widespread overcast now, with only a hint of clearing slot approaching from the south. Will try to follow this development today.
My biggest question about this is heating. We have a broken low cloud deck here but a mid-level cloud deck above that ... just barely saw an obscured sun for a while. Temperatures pushing 80 with dew points in low to mid 70s might be just enough, though. Also appears showers/storms are beginning to increase in western NC moving north. It usually doesn't take much to get a few spinups in a tropical situation like this.

Low-level shear is very visible, with winds blowing out of E-ESE and low clouds racing S to N.

I'm limited to immediate Roanoke area today and will try to get in good viewing position to catch a band moving through if possible.