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Strong thunderstorms possible across east-central Ohio this evening and Thursday

After a nearly perfect spring day yesterday in east-central Ohio, our weather turns more active for Wednesday and Thursday as a series of systems bring showers and thunderstorms to the region.

TODAY
A warm front is lifting through Ohio this morning and that’s been responsible for generating a few spotty showers. These will remain isolated through the rest of the day and I think, for the most part, we have better chances of staying dry here in the Tuscarawas Valley. The clouds will stay and it may look like rain at times, but most should stay dry.

Our focus turns to later this afternoon and evening as low pressure tracks across the Great Lakes lifting a warm front across Ohio. Temperatures today will warm to the mid 70s this afternoon across the Tuscarawas Valley and it will begin to turn humid this afternoon.

04-19-ndfd-day1-max-temps

As the low continues east this afternoon it will drag a weak cold front across northeast Ohio generating showers and storms along the boundary. There is some model discrepancy yet this morning on exactly how far south in Ohio the boundary travels before it stalls. This is important because showers and thunderstorms are likely along the boundary and knowing how far south this gets will determine how far south thunderstorms will reach late today.

Both of the short term high-resolution models are handling things well depicting the morning weather. They disagree on where and when storms get going later this afternoon, though. That makes it difficult to nail down any timing for storms later today.

For now, figure on the likelihood of showers and thunderstorms at some point late this afternoon into this evening. Here is the idea from the HRRR model for today through

04-19-hrrr_2017041911_ref_cleveland

The threat for any severe thunderstorms here in the Valley is pretty low. That’s mainly due to the timing of the storms – they’ll arrive here late enough in the day when instability will be less. The Storm Prediction Center does have all of east-central Ohio in the low “Marginal Risk” category.

04-19-spc-day1-outlook

Any of the stronger storms this afternoon and evening will be capable of generating gusty winds as well as small to moderate hail.

Heavy rainfall is also a good possibility overnight tonight. Some minor flooding could result should rainfall approach an inch or so in some areas.

BIG CAVEAT: Timing remains an issue with today’s storms. Depending on when they manage to arrive will be a big factor in how strong storms will be. IF they arrive in mid or late afternoon, there’s a bigger potential for stronger storms here in the Valley. If they arrive late this evening the threat for strong storms will be less – not zero, but less. The forecast is likely to change as we get more information.

Area risk assessment mainly for late this afternoon and tonight:

04-19-tuscrisk

A BETTER THREAT FOR SEVERE STORMS COMES ON THURSDAY
Remember that cold front that gets hung up somewhere over northeast Ohio today? It’s going to shift gears and head back north as a warm front tomorrow. That’s going to allow for some very warm and very moist southern air to migrate into east-central Ohio on Thursday.

Temperatures tomorrow will soar to the upper 70s – maybe even low 80s. And, it will become noticeably humid – summerlike actually.

04-19-ndfd-day2-max-temps

With this very warm, humid and unstable atmosphere firmly in place tomorrow afternoon, a strong cold front will approach from the northwest. Cold dry air running into warm moist air will provide the trigger for strong to severe thunderstorms again late in the day Thursday.

As it is with today, timing will be a big concern. The later storms make their way into the Valley, the less potent they will be. As of this morning, all indications are that it will be late in the day when storms arrive here in the Tuscarawas Valley.

04-19-nam-42hr-sim-radar

Since this line of storms looks to arrive more towards sunset they should loose some of their punch. Still, the threat will be there for damaging winds, moderate to large hail, and even a small risk for an isolated tornado. As such, the SPC has a greater risk for severe thunderstorms in northwest Ohio than here. BUT again, timing will be crutial, so keep up with the forecast again tomorrow.

04-19-spc-day2-outlook

Storms should exit southeast of the region Thursday night into the wee hours of Friday morning with a few residual showers lagging behind.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND
The air behind the cold front will be much much colder and temperatures on Friday will drop back to about average 9 63-65 degrees. Saturday will be even chillier with highs struggling to make the upper 50s.

NOTE: The thunderstorm forecast today and Thursday will undergo changes as more data comes in and forecasting tools get a better handle on things. Stay tuned to later updates.

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