I took this image over South Dakota this afternoon.
A few storms have fired along a boundary in western South Dakota this afternoon. Notice the two cells, one of which appears “smeared” towards the southeast. The upper-level winds in this area are from northwest to southeast, venting the anvil downstream from the updraft.
These storms are in a relatively large cumulus field. What caused them to fire, and not the others? There is a subtle boundary draped from north to south across western South Dakota. In the loop, the boundary is not moving, and the storms are lingering in the same place, enjoying the additional lift near the boundary to constantly supply them with humid, rising air.
Without doing a lot of research into this particular storm, this evening, the boundary will either move or maybe weaken, and the lift will decrease. killing off the storms. If the boundary moves, it is possible that more storms clump up into a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) as the moving boundary will increase lift along its run. If it doesn’t move, the storms will fade. If the clouds do not mix out, there will be a boundary, but lighter heating tomorrow. If they do mix out, there will be a chance of storms in the same area again tomorrow.
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College of DuPage – SATRAD