Heaviest rainfall arrives Saturday night bringing highest potential for flooding

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has issued a Flood Watch in effect for Tuscarawas, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton. Harrison, Jefferson,  Muskingum, Guernsey, Belmont, Noble Counties until Sunday Evening.
You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Rain continues today, mostly before mid afternoon. While most of the morning rain will be light to moderate, pockets of heavier rainfall will travel along a warm front as it lifts through east-central Ohio around mid day. A bit of instability is showing up along the boundary so a rumble or two of thunder wouldn’t be unusual. No strong storms are expected but rain could be heavier where thunder occurs.

We’ll chalk up another half to one inch of rain before this all shifts east late this afternoon. Thereafter, showers should become more scattered this evening and tonight.

It will be warmer this afternoon than yesterday with most Tuscarawas Valley neighborhoods reaching the low 60s.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY – HEAVIEST RAINFALL & HIGHEST POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING
Much like last night, we will get another brief break in the steady rain overnight tonight into early Saturday morning. A weak boundary just to our south will be the focus for renewed rain activity during the daylight hours on Saturday. This looks to bring another half to one inch of rain to the Tuscarawas Valley during the afternoon.

Unfortunately for east-central Ohio, deepening low pressure in the Midwest will track across the Upper Ohio Valley bringing with it even more moisture. This will mean pretty much steady moderate to heavy rainfall Saturday night into Sunday morning. With the ground already saturated and unable to absorb more water, low lying areas, creeks and streams, and eventually larger waterways will swell with runoff. Flooding will be more likely through this period.

Along with the rain, a thunderstorm or two could also develop. Nothing strong or severe here but a few strong storms will be possible in southwest Ohio.

Rainfall totals from this morning’s model runs indicate 2″ to 3″ inches of rain – with locally higher amounts – will be possible Saturday night through Sunday morning.

While water levels along the Tuscarawas River will rise, I am more concerned for the potential of serious flooding along Stillwater Creek. The last three runs of hydrological forecast model runs have been consistent in bringing water levels into flood stage at Uhrichsville. This morning’s run continues with this trend.

This is a troubling trend. I urge folks living near Stillwater Creek to get an action plan together in the event flooding along the creek gets out of control Saturday night and Sunday. Even if water levels fall short of the projected 11 feet, this forecast doesn’t look good.

My advice to those along Stillwater Creek is to remain aware of the forecast, keep in touch with local authorities and definitely have a flood plan in place and ready to execute.

As for the Tusky, lesser amounts of rain are forecast to occur upstream of New Phila which should generally keep the river from rising as much. Downstream of New Phila, however, around Newcomerstown will be a different story.

Folks along the Tuscarawas River south of New Philadelphia will need to monitor water levels through the weekend and into early next week for flooding there.

Water levels along all our streams and creeks, as well as all of those low lying areas that traditionally flood, will certainly rise over the weekend and remain elevated into early next week. This will cause flooding issues and other problems for many. DON’T DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED ROADWAYS. DON’T BE THAT PERSON WHO NEEDS RESCUE. TURN AROUND – DON’T DROWN!

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