We are continuing to monitor the threat for significant severe weather in our region as we head into late this afternoon across our region. The biggest threats today will be damaging winds and large hail, though an isolated tornado, as well as localized high water are not out of the question, either.
Do not be fooled into thinking this morning’s rain showers and rumbles of thunder will kill our severe weather threat. Rain showers are likely through much of the morning and through the early afternoon. Then, we are expected to see a bit of a break in the action, with perhaps even a peak of sunshine, and with a strong southerly breeze, many of us jump into the 80s. We will watch thunderstorm cells form across southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky by the middle afternoon, and then form into a line of showers and thunderstorms as they head into West Virginia late this afternoon into the evening.
The energy in the atmosphere is unusally strong thanks to a strengthening area of low pressure that is moving across the area. In fact, the pressure gradient is so tight, that strong winds even without the storms are likely, which is why the National Weather Service has issued a *Wind Advisory* for much of the region. Even without the storms, general wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible late this afternoon and into tonight as a very strong cold front pushes through. This cold front will drop our temperatures by over 30 degrees heading into Monday, and it is this clash of air masses that has created such a good setup for severe weather for our region today.
- WINDS: Damaging winds in excess of 60 mph are possible in some storms as they push across this afternoon and evening. Even without the storms, gusts up to 50 mph are possible due to the signficiant pressure gradient across the area.
- TORNADOES: Not a high risk, but the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted our area as a 5 percent risk of seeing a tornado within 25 miles of any single location. That’s as high as we have seen in about a year.
- HAIL: Some embedded thunderstorms could drop hail as large as a half dollar, though I think this threat has diminished a bit yesterday, as I think the storms will be a bit more low-topped.
- FLOODING: Can’t rule out some isolated high water issues, especially west of the Ohio River, where we’ve seen the heavier rain this morning.
The Storm Prediction Center continues the *ENHANCED RISK* for severe weather in our region today. They have also identified some of the different severe weather threats below. This includes a tornado threat (5%), wind threat (30%), and hail threat (15%):
As far as timing is concerned, we’re still looking at the strongest storms to be located at areas in the Scioto Valley and northern Kentucky starting the severe weather between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., 5 p.m to 7 p.m. along the Ohio River, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Kanawha Valley and down Corridor G and into eastern Kentucky, and then 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for our friends along and east along I-79.