Today: Thu 14 Dec 2017

Convective Available Potential Energy and Precipitable Water

Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) is measure of the amount of energy available for convection. CAPE is directly related to the maximum potential vertical speed within an updraft; thus, higher values indicate greater potential for severe weather.

  • The shaded contours indicate total precipitable water in the atmosphere. Precipitable water is the total depth of liquid water that would result if all water vapor contained in a vertical column of air could be "wrung out", leaving the air completely dry. It indicates the total humidity of the air above a location, and is a good indicator of the amount of moisture potentially available to supply rainfall.
  • The red contour lines indicate the amount of CAPE in the atmosphere, which is a good indicator of the potential for strong thunderstorms and severe weather. High values of CAPE indicate that most (but not necessarily all) conditions exist for strong thunderstorms.

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