Published 01/19/2023 9:00 AM EST
Today will bring a very unusual weather setup to the Valley and we will need to pay attention to local conditions as things mature later this afternoon and this evening.
Showers this morning will exit east as we head into the afternoon as a warm front slides east. Temperatures this afternoon will warm to the upper-50s to around 60°. Cloud cover this morning will thin during the afternoon and allow for some sunshine to break out creating an unstable atmosphere over eastern Ohio.
A squall line of potent showers and thunderstorms is expected to develop in western Ohio this afternoon along an approaching cold front. This squall line will quickly travel northeastward into east-central Ohio this evening.
Thunderstorms entering our area will have the potential to produce damaging wind gusts. There is also a low but non-zero risk of weak tornadoes with this line of storms. The Storm Prediction Center currently has our area highlighted in the Slight Risk (Level 2 on a scale of 1-5) for severe thunderstorms later this evening.
The squall line will not move into our area until 6:00/7:00 PM – after sunset. The line of storms will race across the area quickly so this will be a short-lived event.
The storms in this line have the potential to be stronger in central Ohio and they are expected to weaken some as they make their way east. The main concern in our area is strong damaging wind gusts. The threat of a tornado is low but not zero. Isolated pockets of hail can also occur.
Outside of the line of storms that move through the area this evening, winds will pick up this afternoon ahead of the storms. Gusts could reach 30/35 mph.
It is very unusual for severe thunderstorms in our area in the middle of winter, so have a way to get any warnings later this evening. Tornadoes in January in Ohio are very rare – there have only been 9 confirmed tornadoes in Ohio during January since 1950 so yes, tornadoes can occur here in winter.
I’ll post updates here and on our Twitter feed (@tuscwx) if needed.