Explainer: Why Will Thunder Be Unusually Loud Early Friday?

WOAY-TV (Oak Hill, WV): A warm front will be the catalyst for thunderstorms Friday morning, but just like a few weeks ago, the thunder will be LOUD.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill explains why:

The image below is the forecast for Friday morning. A strong inversion will develop around 5,000 feet. This essentially is a very warm layer aloft and above it plenty of instability will fuel thunderstorms as a warm front pushes into the region.

The warm layer will “trap” the sound of thunder from the thunderstorms. The direct path of sound from nearby lightning COMBINED WITH refraction of the sound waves bending back towards the ground from nearby lightning will be the reason for the loud thunder rumbles. We had a similar instance of loud boomers on Tuesday, February 27.

The 0Z NAM forecast sounding for Friday morning, March 15, 2024.

The 12Z sounding from Wilmington on February 27 (seen below), showed a classic strong inversion with steep lapse rates aloft. A warm front located near I-70 provided the impetus for the lift that generated storms in our region, and low and behold, the thunder was loud across southern West Virginia!

12Z Sounding from Wilmington, Ohio, for February 27, 2024.
Sponsored Content