Severe weather update for Saturday

First off our severe weather situation has changed somewhat. The threat of numerous severe thunderstorms has been reduced for this afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has taken all of east-central Ohio out of the Enhanced Risk category and shifted it well to our east with Saturday morning’s outlook.

While there are still decent odds for a few strong to severe storms here in our area, any that do cross east-central Ohio should be scattered.

The primary threats remain large hail (quarter to half dollar size) and damaging wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. The threat of tornadoes is pretty low – but not zero. The threat of tornadoes increases as you travel east into Pennsylvania.

A lack of training thunderstorms and rapid storm movement should work to reduce the risk of any flooding.

Actually, Saturday morning will be quite pleasant across the Valley. Skies should be mostly sunny during the morning and, since we’re currently in the warm sector of the frontal boundary, temperatures will be warm here. Those in the northern half of the Valley will warm to the upper 70s. Those south will be around 80 degrees.

The front in northern Ohio this morning will shift south this afternoon. How far south that boundary sinks will determine where the strongest storms set up. Clouds and humidity will increase this afternoon as the boundary dips into central Ohio. Showers and thunderstorms will develop ahead and along the boundary as it makes its way into the region.

Current computer guidance suggests showers and thunderstorms will begin to impact the Tuscarawas Valley around or after 3:00 PM this afternoon. The threat of showers and storms will continue into the evening hours.

I think the hi-res model (shown below) is underplaying storm development in this morning’s run. We will need to keep a close eye on the day’s runs and watch for any indications of increasing storm intensity. I still think the strongest storms will develop just north of I-70 and shift south of I-70 by late this afternoon and this evening.

The warmer and more humid it becomes this morning will determine how unstable the atmosphere can become this afternoon as the front approaches.

The bottom line is if you have outdoor plans for today the morning hours will be just fine. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will threaten by mid-afternoon and they will continue to threaten into the evening.

Simulated radar product for today through midnight:

The threat for showers and storms will diminish overnight but a shower or thunderstorm will still be a good possibility. A disturbance will ride along the frontal boundary on Sunday keeping the odds for occasional showers and storms going through tomorrow. Some of those could be strong as well depending on how far south that frontal boundary dips.

Additional waves riding along the front will keep showers and storms in the forecast Monday and Monday night.

I’ll post updates here through the day should the severe weather situation change. NWS Pittsburgh will be launching a special weather balloon this afternoon around 1:30 PM to sample the atmosphere ahead of this afternoon’s storms and help with the severe forecast.

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