National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Winter Storm for south-central U.S.; Critical Fire Weather in the West; Tracking Zeta

Heavy snow will continue to spread south along the Rockies through Monday. An area of freezing rain and sleet is forecast to develop over portions of the southern Plains to start the week. Meanwhile, dry and gusty conditions will continue critical fire weather conditions from California into southern New Mexico. Zeta is forecast to become a hurricane tracking north across the Gulf of Mexico. Read More >

Automatically generated image showing areas of convective inhibition.

 

Thumbnail of automatically generated image showing areas of convective inhibition. Thumbnail of automatically generated image showing areas of convective inhibition. Thumbnail of automatically generated image showing areas of convective inhibition.
Hour - 1 Hour - 2 Hour -3

4 Panel Display | Animated Loop

CIN 

The image is a surface based measurement of Convective INhibition (CIN) or what is sometimes more commonly referred to as the strength of the cap.  The value is capped off at 500 J/KG.  In cases where there is no surface based CAPE available this parameter is set to 500 J/KG.

The yellow contours are the Lid Strength Index (LSI).  This is another measure of how strong the cap is.  It shows the thermal difference between a lifted surface parcel and the warmest part of the cap.  Higher values indicate a more stable layer.

In general, the Cap is said to be breakable when CIN is 30 J/Kg or less and/or the LSI is 2 degrees or less.  A negative LSI is rare, but is indicative of freely buoyant low level instability.

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