Odds for severe thunderstorms higher today

Showers and thunderstorms return later this afternoon into the this evening, some with the potential to become severe. Additional chances for showers are expected mainly south of the area on Saturday, with another round of strong to severe storms returning on Sunday.

If you’ve been outdoors this morning you are well aware that we have a much different atmosphere in place. Warm humid air has replaced the pleasant conditions that settled overhead yesterday. There is a warm front off to our north and a cold front off to the west. That cold front will move east toward the region today and provide the focus for showers and thunderstorms in our area later this afternoon.

The threat of severe storms locally will be higher than yesterday. The Storm Prediction Center has all of east-central Ohio highlighted in the standard “Slight Risk” or a level 2 out of 5 for severe weather today.

The main concern with today’s storms will be damaging straight-line wind. Small to moderate hail is also possible but the threat for tornadoes is much less. Any storms today can also tap into ample moisture and put down some heavy rain. It’s been dry enough lately so the ground should handle the rain okay.

LOCAL TIMING
Our weather will stay quiet through the morning and early afternoon. A line of storms will develop west and travel east into east-central Ohio late this afternoon and continue into the early evening. The threat for thunderstorms will subside late in the evening.

I would expect to see storms on radar approaching the area anytime after 4:00 PM. Most of this should be south and east of our area by 8:00 PM.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
The cold front that will bring showers and storms to the area today will continue south tonight. Eventually, it will stall out well to our south on Saturday. Tomorrow should be a largely dry day here in the Valley with the bulk of showers associated with the front off to the south. Locally, it will be much less humid tomorrow with that dryer air moving in behind today’s front. I can’t completely rule out an afternoon shower but Saturday will be the nicer day of the weekend.

Sunday will be a different story. That cold front to the south will reverse course and head back north as a warm front. This will spread warm and humid air back into east-central Ohio Sunday morning.

Low pressure will cruise up into the Great Lakes region Sunday afternoon and drag yet another cold front through the region. Similar to today, the threat for strong thunderstorms with high wind will return for Sunday afternoon. Today’s SPC outlook has our area highlighted in the “Marginal” or 1 out of 5 risk but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that increase as we get closer to Sunday.

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