Friday (3/30/12) Severe Threat

An area of low pressure will move towards WC Ohio on Friday bringing with it showers and thunderstorms, some of them potentially severe. This map shows a surface low over North Central Indiana at about 2 PM tomorrow afternoon.

A warm front will lie to the East of this low making it about as far North as Route 30. That is important because the further North the front can lift, the more warmth and moisture can lift North, increasing our chances for severe weather. Like the past few storms, it looks as if most of West Central Ohio will be on the Northern edge of the severe threat. Here is a map of the predicted CAPE tomorrow afternoon. Values over over 1000 j/kg in this case indicate that the atmosphere will become relatively unstable tomorrow afternoon aiding in storm development. This forecast model keeps those values confined to the South of Route 30.

Of course this could change by tomorrow, but as of now it looks as if the low will track right across WC Ohio early tomorrow afternoon with showers and thunderstorms. South and East of the low where the best instability in the atmosphere will reside, that’s the area where the best severe potential will be with hail and high winds being the biggest threats. As of Thursday evening the Storm Prediction Center has us in a slight risk area (Notice we are mainly on the northern edge of the outlook)

Overall, I don’t think we’re looking at a major outbreak by any means. But keep an eye to the skies especially early tomorrow afternoon into the early evening hours!



What a warm March!

We have broken a record high now 5 days straight here in Lima! The past few days not only did we just break records, we SMASHED them by 10 degrees or more! As I mentioned in my previous post, this weather pattern is very reminiscent of the summer. Taking a look at the jet stream on Wednesday, we can still see that there is a very amplified pattern in place with a deep trough West of the Mississippi and a large ridge East. This ridge has been in place for over a week now and hasn’t allowed the more active part of the jet to move. Because of this, we have seen a lot of moist and VERY warm air to settle in.


Towards the end of the week however this pattern will change, a large part of the jet stream is expected to break off from the main flow forming what is called an “upper level low” and will slowly track East towards Ohio. Here is a look at Friday with the upper low sitting over the midwest. Notice the main flow of the jet still well to our North.

This upper low will bring a good chance for rain both Friday and Saturday and also cool off our  temperatures off by about 15-20 degrees. But even with the cool down we’ll still be in the 60’s and low 70’s, and that is still very mild for this time of year thanks to the main flow of the jet still expected to be well North of us. It looks like March will go down as one of the warmest ever!


Spring is here! (unofficially)

Spring doesn’t officially arrive until March 20th, but by the looks of things outside it’s already here. With temperatures soaring up to and above 70 today, daytime highs will be 20 to 30 degrees above average for the next several days. Check out the latest 6 to 10 day temperature outlook from the NWS. To sum things up, it will be warm for at least the next week.

So what is causing the warmer temperatures? By the upcoming weekend, a deep area of high pressure will settle in over the Eastern half of the United states taking a recently active jet stream almost completely out of play for our weather. The darker colors indicate a stronger and more active jet with a deep trough over the West coast and a ridge over the East.

This is more of a pattern typically seen during mid-summer and would lead to temperatures usually soaring well into the 90’s if this were taking place in July or August. Since it’s taking place in March, expect low to mid 70’s well into next week!  This type of pattern usually eliminates any organized systems that would cause a large severe weather outbreak, simply due to the fact that the jet stream is a big contributor to that type of weather. Enjoy!


Severe Weather Update (March 2nd)

Things are beginning to take shape with the expected severe weather in the region as a strong area of low pressure develops. Here is a map with surface dewpoints to show where the best moisture to fuel the storms is, the higher dew points are indicated in the green colors.

North of those higher dewpoints is where we find the warm front. That warm front lifting North towards us this morning is spawning showers and thunderstorms but most of them are staying below severe limits. By about 5 PM this evening this high resolution model shows the best moisture and instability (CAPE)  mainly to the South of us in WC Ohio.

This is the main reason the worst of the storms should stay to our South later this afternoon. We’ll likely experience some severe weather with damaging winds being the main threat between about 1 PM and 6 PM as all of this works to the Northeast. Isolated tornadoes are still a possibility, but the best chances for a widespread tornado outbreak will remain to the South where the more unstable atmosphere resides. Watching this one closely!


Our first real severe threat of 2012

It looks like Spring severe weather will be making an early appearance in WC Ohio on Friday with damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes possible. The set up is one typical of mid-spring with a very potent area of low pressure tracking though our region.

As of now, it looks as if the time frame for storms will be tomorrow afternoon through early evening. Here are some of the reasons a significant outbreak is possible: First we will have a mature and deep area of low pressure moving through tomorrow afternoon.

Along with the low and the cold front’s ability to provide lift in the atmosphere, a strong upper level wind field will be in place to maintain storms over a long period of time as they develop and move through. Here is a look at the jet stream tomorrow evening with darker colors showing higher winds.

With these conditions in place on Friday, I would think a tornado watch in our area tomorrow is a good possibility. Remember a WATCH means conditions are favorable for tornadoes. A WARNING means one has been spotted or detected on radar. There is one limiting factor tomorrow to our severe weather potential and that is what we call CAPE. CAPE is a measure of how unstable the atmosphere will be. The best moisture and warmth will be just South of us, so that could limit the severity of storms in our area. Higher CAPE values for tomorrow afternoon and evening are seen here. With the highest values over Southern Indiana, Kentucky and Southwest Ohio.

It looks like Spring severe weather season is off to an early start. Tomorrow looks to be a busy day.