Wednesday Local Update: Severe thunderstorms likely this evening into tonight

Posted 7:30 AM EDT 06/10/2020

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hot and humid conditions are expected today with afternoon high temperatures locally in the upper-80s to near 90° and dew points in the low-70s.
  • The potential for severe thunderstorms across east-central Ohio has increased. The highest risk for severe thunderstorms locally will be this evening and early tonight.
  • Cooler and less humid air will move into the region behind tonight’s storms for the remainder of the week.

LOCAL DETAILS
The stage is being set this morning for a widespread severe weather event in eastern Ohio late today. Already we have a tropical airmass in place with dew points across the area in the low-70s and temperatures locally in the mid-70s.

With an upper-level layer of warm air, the atmosphere will remain capped during the morning and afternoon and our weather should remain hot and muggy but generally quiet here in the Valley. A low pressure system traveling across the upper Great Lakes will drag a cold front west to east across Ohio late this afternoon into tonight. We will see a mixture of sun and clouds today and winds out of the south will increase as the day progresses. Gusts to around 30 mph will be possible.

A squall line of severe thunderstorms will develop in western Ohio. This line will quickly travel east through the afternoon at around 40 mph – 50 mph. All modes of severe weather are possible in this squall line. In response to the potential for severe storms, the Storm Prediction Center has placed all of Ohio under varying degrees of severe categories – including a very rare Moderate Risk in portions of northwestern Ohio.

As of early morning, most of far eastern Ohio remains in the Slight Risk (level #2 on a scale of 1 – 5) category for severe thunderstorms. However, I do expect changes in the SPC outlooks as the day unfolds.

The main threat with these storms late today is damaging wind gusts to 70 mph. Isolated tornadoes and large hail are secondary threats but very real none the less. Frequent lightning and heavy downpours may also accompany these storms.

Since the storms will be moving through east-central Ohio after sunset and after peak heating and instability, some weakening will occur by the time they arrive in our local area. Storms will still be quite strong, but the higher threat for the really nasty stuff will be in the west and north during the late afternoon and early evening.

LOCAL TIMING
As I mentioned at the beginning, most of the day will be uneventful. With such an unstable atmosphere overhead, a random shower or thunderstorm will be possible just about anywhere through the day. Guidance varies somewhat but the main line of severe thunderstorms will not arrive here in east-central Ohio until after sunset into late this evening – 7 pm -11 pm. The storms will move quickly through the region tonight as the cold front exits east of the area and may only last 30 to 45 minutes in any one location.

Below is a snapshot of one model’s idea (HRRRv4) of how the radar might look like at 8 pm this evening:

AFTER THE STORMS
High pressure will return Thursday and bring another extended period of dry weather to the Valley for the remainder of the week. The most noticeable change will be the dramatic air change as a much less humid airmass moves into the region. Dew points in the 70s today will drop to the 50s for the remainder of the period. Temperatures will also return to the upper 70s for Thursday and Friday. A secondary cold front will sink through the region with little fanfare late in the day Friday. Expect highs in the low-70s for the weekend behind Friday’s front.

UPDATES posted here when they become necessary. Subscribers will be notified when updates are posted. Also, Twitter users can get timely updates throughout the day on our Twitter Feed (@tuscwx)

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