Severe Weather Update for Wednesday, 3/23

Posted Wednesday AM 3/23/2022

Today will bring the season’s first real threat for severe thunderstorms to the Tuscarawas Valley. The morning SPC outlook has changed somewhat from yesterday by extending the area of higher risk (yellow) a bit farther to the east. As it stands this morning, just about all of the east-central Ohio region is under a Slight Risk (Level 2 on a scale of 1-5) for severe thunderstorms later today.

The threats today include all modes of severe weather. The primary threat is strong winds but hail and tornadoes are also possible with today’s storms. The threat for tornadoes and hail is lower, but certainly not zero.

While there can be a spotty light shower moving through the region at times, the bulk of the morning and afternoon looks mainly dry. Trouble won’t move in until late this afternoon/early this evening. Looking at the morning model runs I’d say we need to pay close attention to the sky anytime after 2:00/3:00 pm to around 10:00 pm, generally. The best opportunity for strong, discrete thunderstorm cells could occur between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Simulated Radar Product from the 3kNAM model at 6:00 PM today

This is generally the time frame where the threat for rotating updrafts occurs along the I-77 corridor.

Winds will be breezy today outside of any thunderstorms. There is a lot of wind energy aloft and any showers or storms could pull down some of those stronger winds aloft which is why damaging gusts are the main concern with today’s storms.

Much will depend on how much sunshine we manage to get during the morning and early afternoon. Any appreciable amount of clearing will bring an increase in instability. Instability will provide more energy for storms to work with late this afternoon and evening.

So, to wrap up here’s what you need to know…

  • There is an elevated risk for severe thunderstorms late this afternoon through this evening in our area.
  • The MAIN threat is damaging wind gusts but there is also a decent potential for hail and tornadoes.
  • Be especially aware of the weather between 2:00pm and 10:00pm and be sure you have a way to get weather warnings. (Please don’t rely on outdoor sirens as you warning system.)

I’ll post updates here if/when needed. Until then, be safe out there.

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