Thursday Severe Weather (Update)

Showers and thunderstorms are still expected to move into the region later this afternoon and evening with a developing low pressure system traveling through Ohio. The latest severe weather outlook has shifted the threat a little more South than that at this time yesterday.

It has likely been shifted South for a couple of reasons..

1) Most of the region has been under overcast conditions so far today. This is good because a lack of sunshine will allow the atmosphere to remain a little more stable than if it was sunny all day. Sunshine only helps to amplify the development of storms thanks to a warmer atmosphere. Here is a look at CAPE values later this afternoon around 5 PM. You will notice the CAPE really isn’t that high (high values are usually above 2,000 j/kg) This is very much due to mostly cloudy skies and not a lot of sun. Again, CAPE measures the atmospheres ability to produce rapidly developing storms.

2) The area of low pressure that will strengthen later tonight looks like it will track right across WC Ohio. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it won’t allow the area to warm up very much, areas South and East of the low are always targeted for the best chance of severe weather because of better warming. Here is the location of the low around 8 PM over Central Indiana, it is expected to generally follow the front to the East of it and track through WC Ohio.

It’s potentially bad because anytime a strengthening low moves directly overhead there is more of a chance for rotating storms. While the biggest threat continues to be damaging winds, there is the possibility for an isolated tornado as well. The national weather service reflects this concern over NW and Northern Ohio where the low will track noting a very slight chance for the development of a tornado in the region.

As far as a time frame is concerned, expect the storms to move in during the late afternoon and continue to be a threat well into the late evening hours. I’m keeping a close eye on it!



9 thoughts on “Thursday Severe Weather (Update)

  1. I posted this on the other one and I feel like a fool now, but my question’s the same: Is there a chance the Low takes a different track, or is that track it’s expected to take pretty much set in stone?

    • There always is the chance. But the closer it gets to the actual time of the storms the more and more models key in on the track. By the way, very nice name and email. One of my favorite shows!

  2. Haha! Mine too! Also, you noted with cloud cover, the atmosphere remains more stable than had we seen sunshine. Doesn’t that also really limit the chance of the storms, or is the low expected to be that strong that it would make the cloud cover a non factor in severe storm development?

    • Exactly, the fear is that even without much heating the low could be strong enough to cause enough lift to fuel the storms. This is thanks to a strong upper level trough intensifying the low.

  3. Well that trough needs to stop, I tell you what! So what time do you expect the area to go under a severe thunderstorm watch?

    • Skeptical right now if that will happen, it’s looking more and more like the lack of sun for most of the day is really keeping us pretty stable. There will be thunderstorms moving in around 9 or 10 o-clock that are in Illinois and Indiana now, they have the potential to be severe, but not sure about a watch at this point.

      • Thanks for the info, Kyle! Also, with those storms, what do you think the chances are that they do become severe? Watching pretty much every forecast tonight has me confused, some act like the severe stuff is guaranteed while others are only saying it’s a chance.

        I was thinking that with the lack of sun we had today here in WC Ohio that the storm chance was limited because we were pretty stable (as you noted), that the chance of them being severe was a lot lower than some of the stations were making it out to be. Is that the case, or am I mistaken?

        Again, thanks for all the info and I appreciate the replies you’ve given me. Really helps me understand the whole situation a lot better!

      • The chance is lower here in WC Ohio. If you look into Indiana right now you can see the storms rapidly developing as that upper level trough is really beginning to stengthen the surface low. There have already been a few tornado warnings over parts of Indiana. These storms will eventually move here by about 10 PM but will be running into a more stable airmass thanks to mainly cloudy skies all day. Still though, a severe storm or two can’t be ruled out, but my guess is that the storms will be weaker by the time they get here.

  4. The storms producing the tornado warnings don’t look like they’re headed for WC Ohio, though, do they? They seem to be kind of going southeast of where the warning is, which would put them more near Indianapolis in a c uple of hours, right? I’m looking at the radar now, there’s some stuff already popping up north of Celina. Is there any chance this would sap some more juice out of the atmosphere for the storms that will arrive later? Also, the stuff in the southern half of Indiana, like the stuff south of Lafayette and Kokomo, that’s staying south of WC Ohio, right? The radar has that stuff kind of rotating in an easterly direction so that has me confused.

    I’m sorry if I’m bugging you with all these questions, just wanna be informed is all!

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