Well for some of you who are sleeping, this may be a complete surprise, for now at least....
Storms moving toward the Miami Valley currently, shortly after 1 AM, 09/28/09, and I am in the weather center keep an eye on things. Right now everything is still at least half an hour outside of the viewing area and the strongest storms are north of Muncie, IN, which is the only storm that is semi-close with a T-storm Warning. It appears to have the best organization, the others that are draping down towards Indy are weaker and not as highly organized.
The energy in the atmosphere is limited currently due to the night time and also the cool conditions we have seen the last 24 hours and lack of moist air. This being said, the cold front pushing through is moving so fast and bringing in such a change of air, that is why we are seeing the showers fire up into a few storms.
Basically the showers need lift to bubble up into storms. Think of the summer puffy clouds, the small ones that dont grow into the sky, they are harmless, but if they get "lifted" and can grow up, then you get cumulonimbus, or thunderstorm clouds. What the cold front is doing is lifting the air and causing them to rise up. Imagine you are in a pool and you hold your arm out about 4 inches below the surface of the water, rotate your body and arm rapidly around you. You should get a wave to form. That is what the cold front is doing, we all know cool air sinks and warm air rises. The cooler air with the cold front is plowing below the warmer air and lifting the warmer air just like the wave.... get enough lifting and you get showers, and with even more lifting, you get thunderstorms.
Well back to the radar, the strong cell north of Muncie is getting closer and only has one county (Jay, IN) before it reaches Mercer County... Sleep tight, I will keep an eye on things from the weather center!!!
88 Days left!!
Andrew Buck Michael