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A touch of summer today; A weak front brings the threat for thunderstorms Thursday

r those of us who enjoy the warm summerlike weather, today is our day. With a strong southerly flow established, temperatures will soar to around 90 degrees across the Tuscarawas Valley this afternoon.

05-17-ndfd-day1-max-temps

While it will be a warm one today, we won’t beat our record high of 93 set back in 1962.

Along with the sunshine and warm temperatures, we’ll notice a touch of mugginess too with dew points climbing to the low 60s. And, we can expect a breezy day as those south winds kick up to 10 to 15 mph. Gusts could reach 25 mph at times.

We remain warm and dry overnight with temperatures in the upper 60s by early Thursday morning.

Is it unusual for temperatures in the Valley to reach 90 degrees in May? Not during recent years, anyway. Last year brought two 90-degree May days – the 28th and the 31st. But, records show that we’ve hit 90 degrees or better several times since 2011.

05-17-may-90degree-days

Granted, this record set only goes back 20 years but you can gather from the latest 20 years that 90-degree days in May have been more prevalent lately. Does that prove climate change locally? I wouldn’t think so. We would have to see if the trend continues 20 years into the future to get a better handle on a warmer climate trend.

T-STORMS POSSIBLE THURSDAY
The upper level ridge responsible for all the sunny and pleasant weather these last few days starts to break down Thursday. And, a cold front will approach Thursday afternoon crossing east-central Ohio Thursday night. With the very warm air in place overhead and colder air approaching, shower and thunderstorm chances will increase late in the day.

The atmosphere will remain fairly well ‘capped’ during the majority of the day despite increasing instability. Toward late afternoon and evening, however, the cap will begin to weaken and allow thunderstorms to develop. Although an afternoon shower or storm will certainly be possible, computer models show optimal destabilization around and after sunset and this should work out to be the best time for thunderstorms here in the Valley.

Our chances for any severe thunderstorms is fairly low but some late afternoon and evening thunderstorms could be strong with gusty thunderstorm winds.

05-17-spc-day2-outlook2

At this time, I do not think this will be a widespread thunderstorm threat and any strong storms will be isolated. However, as we all know, air has a tendency to move around quite a bit and change the forecast. I’ll continue to monitor for future changes.

FRIDAY INTO THE WEEKEND
The cold front should push south of the region by Friday but questions remain on how far south the boundary gets before it hangs up. MOST of today’s guidance keeps the boundary far enough south to allow for drier and cooler air to push in over the Valley on Friday. As a result, temperatures on Friday will be closer to our average mid May highs – mid to upper 70s.

Weak high pressure will drift eastward and into east-central Ohio Friday night into Saturday to bring us a dry day with a mix of sun and clouds. Temperatures will warm to around 80 degrees Saturday afternoon.

Timing is an issue yet this morning with the arrival of our next – and stronger – cold front for Sunday. I still think the best timing will be Sunday afternoon and, at peak daytime heating, it will bring a pretty good threat for showers and storms.

Sunday should also be the warmer day of the weekend with highs in the low 80s.

NEXT WEEK
Generally, a much cooler but drier weather pattern will set up behind Sunday’s cold front. There could be a few leftover showers yet Monday morning but drier air will work in for the afternoon to bring some sun. Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will top out in the low 70s.

The cooler regime looks to continue through Memorial Day weekend and perhaps even into the first week of June.

05-17-ecmwf-15day-temps

7-DAY RIVER FORECST

05-17-hydrograph

JE

 

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