I mentioned the threat for severe weather on Sunday in yesterday’s update and I wanted to get everyone caught up with what we know as of Saturday morning.
Today (Saturday) will be a nice spring day in the Valley and we’ll have no weather issues. We’ll have plenty of sunshine and intermittent clouds. Temperatures this afternoon will reach the upper 60s. Some of our southern neighborhoods will even touch 70 for the afternoon high.
The system that will bring the potential for severe weather in eastern Ohio tomorrow will get underway today in the Gulf states.
Severe storms will be widespread across this region of the south from east Texas into central Mississippi today. We will see reports of large hail and wind damage coming out of this region today. I suspect we’ll also see reports of strong tornadoes there as well.
This system will make its way northeast tonight and into the Ohio Valley tomorrow (Sunday). As it advances closer to Ohio the system will push a warm front into east-central Ohio Sunday morning. The warm front will spread rain into our area to start the day tomorrow.
This initial morning rain will likely taper off and end by the afternoon. Our threat for severe weather late in the day tomorrow may hinge on whether or not we get a break from the rain in the afternoon ahead of the system’s associated cold front and whether or not we get in on some sunshine. If sunshine can manage to break out for even brief periods in the afternoon it will further destabilize the atmosphere and increase our odds for severe thunderstorms.
Things haven’t changed much since yesterday with regards to timing. Our odds for severe weather here in the Valley will be greatest in the late afternoon through early evening hours – from around 4:00 PM to around 7:00/8:00 PM. The timing may change a bit as more data comes in today but for what we know today, this looks to be the time you will need to focus on.
All severe weather modes will be in play. As it stands today, the Storm Prediction Center has our area highlighted in the Slight Risk (2/5) category for severe storms tomorrow. A higher risk is just along and south of I-70. It’s best not to get too hung up on the categories as all of east-central Ohio will be under a threat for severe weather.
Damaging wind gusts of 55 mph or higher are the biggest threat. Hail is a lesser threat but still something that will be possible none-the-less. Winds aloft will also be moving in a slightly different direction than those at the surface – something we call shear. This shear gets our attention because it can cause rotation which brings the risk of tornadoes. The threat for tornadoes is not high but it is enough of a threat that isolated tornadoes will be possible.
The bottom line in all of this is that severe thunderstorms will be possible late afternoon tomorrow. Strong wind is the primary threat but large hail and a few tornadoes are also possible. Keep aware of the weather tomorrow and know where your safe place is. Have a reliable way to receive weather warnings. Outdoor tornado sirens are not an acceptable warning method.