With a warm and humid airmass in place and a strong slow-moving cold front approaching, Sunday will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms across east-central Ohio the afternoon into this evening.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of eastern Ohio under a ‘Slight Risk’ for severe thunderstorms.
A slight risk means that scattered strong to severe thunderstorms capable of gusty wind and large hail will be possible in the (yellow) highlighted area.
In addition to the potential for damaging wind and hail, there is an abundant amount of moisture available in this soupy atmosphere. Any of today’s thunderstorms will also be capable of heavy rainfall that could lead to localized flash flooding. Some of our neighborhoods could end up with an inch of rainfall over the next 24 hours.
The primary threats from today’s thunderstorms will be damaging wind gusts and flash flooding due to heavy rainfall. Large hail (about the size of a quarter) is also possible, though this is a lesser threat. The chances for tornadoes is low, BUT NOT ZERO.
FACTORS IN PLAY
One of the main factors in question will be how much sun we end up with before storms arrive this afternoon. Clouds are present in western Ohio this morning and these are slowly migrating eastward. The more sun – and thus the more heating – we receive today will lead to higher instability overhead. That higher instability will increase our odds for strong thunderstorms.
Current model guidance suggests we should remain dry through the morning hours, but shower and thunderstorm chances will gradually increase during the afternoon as the atmosphere heats up and becomes more unstable.
Hi-res modeling shows thunderstorms developing by mid afternoon. If you have outdoor plans today you should remain aware of weather conditions in your area anytime after 2 or 3 pm.
Once storms get underway this afternoon, multiple rounds of thunderstorms may persist into the early evening.
Here is how the short-range high resolution model paints the radar through today (ends at 2:00 am Sunday):
Of course, this is only a computer model projection based on current atmospheric data. It’s a guide and does not necessarily mean the radar will look exactly as shown. But it does give us a general idea of how things should play out.
If you have outdoor plans today it would be best to get those activities in before mid afternoon. The threat for thunderstorms is high. The threat for SEVERE thunderstorms is lower, but any thunderstorms are dangerous.
Remain aware of changing weather conditions this afternoon and be prepared to shelter. Once storms begin to initiate, they may last through the rest of the day.
The National Weather Service is likely to issue advisories and warning throughout the afternoon. Have a reliable way of receiving those NWS warnings. OUTDOOR TORNADO SIRENS ARE NOT AN ACCEPTABLE WARNING METHOD.