Sunday afternoon brought scattered showers and thunderstorms beginning around 1 p.m. Counties along and to the North of I-10 were placed under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch from 1:00pm until 7:00pm.
Abundant moisture in the atmosphere, daytime heating into the mid to upper 80's, and the sea breeze all contributed to elevated chances for strong to severe thunderstorms. The measure of the atmospheric moisture showed between 1.2" and 1.75" of precipitable water, meaning that our area had the risk to pick up just over an inch of rain with Sunday's storms. Excessive lightning was also a factor Sunday afternoon, with lightning strikes registering well over 100 strikes per hour even within the smaller storms. Straight line gusty winds also made an appearance, registering gusts in the 45 to 55mph range within storms. Hail of a quarter of an inch in diameter was possible.
The East Coast sea breeze built during the day on Sunday, as the temperatures rose. It was just to the East of I-95 by 1:00pm, and was a catalyst point for initial showers and storms to fire up. As it pushed inland during the afternoon, most of the storms were along and to the West of I-95.
As the temperatures cooled down after sunset, most of the storms began to weaken. A few lingering areas of rain took longer to clear out overnight, but skies cleared by dawn on Monday.
Monday's forecast shows increased potential for afternoon showers and thunderstorms, similar to Sunday afternoon's. The storms should fire up after the noon hour, along the sea breeze front. There is a slight potential for strong to severe storms Monday afternoon. The primary concerns would be gusty winds, lightning, and small hail.