These panels show the most recent observations of cape. CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) is a sounding variable, meaning that it is a single value at each location, and does not change from one level to another.
CAPE is a stability index to help measure the buoyancy of the atmosphere. Atmospheric temperature generally decreases with height. When surface air rises, it also cools. However, sometimes it cools more slowly than its surounding environment. When this happens, the rising air is warmer and less dense, and the rising air can continue to rise -- leading to storm development.
CAPE is a measure of buoyant energy in the atmosphere. Meteorologists can measure this energy by comparing how the atmospheric temperature and a rising air parcel stating at the surface vary with height. CAPE calculations are made before storms can form and are used as a forecast tool.
In analyzing CAPE, values less than 400 are not shaded. Values greater than 1000 are considered favorable for intense convection and possible severe weather in that location. Also, it is important to know that CAPE.