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Not quite as warm today with spotty showers and storms late; Cooler temperatures follow a weekend cold front

After a very warm and summer-like start to the day, temperatures once again will top out above average this afternoon, although not quite as warm as yesterday’s 88 degrees.

05-18-ndfd-day1-max-temps

With these warm temperatures at the surface, it’s even a little warmer aloft which will work in our favor today keeping a ‘cap’ on thunderstorm development through early afternoon despite an unstable atmosphere. Later in the afternoon, though, that cap will weaken and eventually erode which will give the green light for thunderstorm activity late this afternoon and into the evening.

Any storms later this afternoon will be scattered but we do expect to see some activity popping up across east-central Ohio. We’ve kept a small chance for storms in the forecast for the Tuscarawas Valley during the afternoon. Chances for rain and thunder will get a little better late this evening and tonight as a cold front approaches the region.

05-18-gfs-18hr-ptype

This is a fairly weak front but with a warm, moist and unstable airmass in place overhead, it will provide a trigger for showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms could get feisty and generate some gusty wind and hail and in response, the Storm Prediction Center has placed our area under a ‘marginal’ or low risk for severe thunderstorms mainly late this afternoon through midnight.

05-17-spc-day2-outlook2

A better chance for severe storms exists just to our north and a few of those may hold together long enough to reach this far south.

Here is how the hi-res model paints the radar through 1:00 am tonight:

05-18-hrrr_2017051811_ref_cleveland

For new readers not that this is a model depiction of how it ‘thinks’ the radar will look like. It only gives us an idea of how showers and storm might play out today and should not be taken literally. The thing to take away from this is the spotty nature of thunderstorms expected later today.

TONIGHT & FRIDAY
Instability will quickly fade tonight and with that support for thunderstorms as the frontal boundary stalls south of the region. Cooler air will rush in behind the front and temperatures will be a bit cooler on Friday under building high pressure. We’ll call it partly sunny with afternoon temperatures in the 75 to 77 degree range for the Tuscarawas valley area.

With the front to our south, clouds will persist but they will thin enough to allow occasional peaks of sun.

WEEKEND OUTLOOK
Saturday looks to start out decent with dry weather during the morning. Temperatures should warm above average with winds turning south ahead of our next storm system. This will bring a stronger cold front across east-central Ohio and with that, better chances for showers and thunderstorms Saturday night into Sunday.

05-18-gfs-78hr-ptype

There will also be an uptick in the amount of available moisture with this system, so showers and storms will be more widespread that those we see today. I’ll continue to monitor for any signs of severe weather with this system but for now, I’m not expecting it.

NEXT WEEK
After a lull in shower and storm activity on Monday, an upper level trough sets up over the eastern half of the US next week bringing back a cooler than average regime that will stick around through next week.

05-18-gfs-144hr-500mb-pressure

Rain chances will increase on Tuesday and probably stick around through Wednesday evening. Our weather pattern will also turn cooler in the mid range and these cooler temperatures may well persist into the first days of June.

05-18-ecmwf-15day-temps

JE

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