After a chilly couple of days, our weather pattern will switch to a warmer and more active weather pattern as we head into the Memorial Day weekend.
Our chilly temperatures for the season will become more in tune with late May beginning today as a warm front lifts north through east-central Ohio this afternoon. Temperatures will get back up to the 80° to 82° range. High pressure over the Great Lakes region will keep our area dry for the bulk of Wednesday but moisture arriving with the front may spark a few showers and storms in the mid-afternoon.
I am not expecting any widespread rain with this today but a spotty shower or rumble of thunder can’t be ruled out completely in any one area. There is just enough moisture and instability present that a couple of isolated storms could get a little feisty. The Storm Prediction Center has our area flagged for a low-end chance of a strong storm mainly this afternoon and evening. Gusty wind is the main concern with these storms that might move through.
Thursday will bring somewhat better odds for strong/severe storms with a weakening cold front. The boundary between warm air and cool are is forecast to settle somewhere in the vicinity of the US-30 corridor. Thunderstorms can develop along this boundary tomorrow afternoon – wherever it ends up.
Temperatures tomorrow afternoon will warm to around the mid-80s and with plenty of moisture pushing dew points to the mid-60s and a touch of instability present, there is a higher risk that a few storms could reach severe criteria. As such, the SPC has us outlined for a slightly higher risk of severe storms tomorrow afternoon.
Again, strong thunderstorm wind gusts are the primary threat. There is a lesser threat for large hail and the threat for an isolated tornado is also something we’ll need to be mindful of. I’ll continue to monitor this situation today and early tomorrow for any changes. We should also have a better handle on timing as more model data streams in today and tonight.
FRIDAY THROUGH MEMORIAL DAY
Friday’s forecast calls for a pretty nice day. We should see plenty of sunshine on Friday and afternoon temperatures will be in the low-80° range here in the Valley.
Saturday may once again be a day where we’ll need to be weather-aware. It will be warm with temperatures in the mid-80s and dew points will again approach the mid-60° range ahead of a stronger cold front. Actually, out of the next several days, Saturday has the highest potential for severe storms here in the Valley.
While it’s a little too far in the future for specifics yet, the SPC already has parts of eastern Ohio highlighted for a severe threat on Saturday. I’ll certainly keep a watch on this and post updates here on the TuscWeather website and web app as we get closer to the weekend.
We will need to keep a threat for showers and storms moving through east-central Ohio Saturday and Sunday. I don’t think it will rain all the time, but showers and storms will be around for both days. Temperatures will be cooler – upper 70s here in the Valley.
WHAT IS A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM?
I get this question frequently on our social media pages – mostly Facebook. People see the term Severe Thunderstorm and really have no idea what that means. According to the National Weather Service – the folks who are tasked with issuing weather alerts – in order for a storm to be considered SEVERE it must meet one (1) or more of these criteria:
- Produce wind gusts of 58 MPH (50 knots) or higher
- Contain hail of 1.00 inches in diameter or larger (Quarter-size)
- Produce a tornado
Notice – and this is important: The severity of a thunderstorm has nothing to do with lightning or heavy rainfall. While a warning may contain the mention of frequent lightning and heavy rain (w/flash flood potential), the lightning or rain itself does not make a storm severe. The reasoning behind this is, by definition, all thunderstorms produce lightning and lightning by itself, whether in a thunderstorm or not, is potentially life-threatening. When thunderstorms are capable of producing heavy rain which can lead to local flash flooding, a Flood (or Flash Flood) alert is conveyed.
This graphic sums up the meaning of Severe Thunderstorm: