Small tornadoes and damaging wind ripped through West Central Ohio late Wednesday into Thursday morning. Initially during the evening hours, storms stayed mainly North of West Central Ohio with most of the activity in Northern Indiana and extreme NW Ohio. Eventually by about 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM these storms began to merge into a line of storms that you can see here on radar just after 11 PM.
As the main line of storms began to push into West Central Ohio shortly after 11 they began to strengthen as they took on more of a linear shape. Not too long after the storms formed a solid line they began to show classic signs of a “bow echo” which is a dead giveaway that damaging winds are good possibility. Here was the line of storms shortly after midnight moving directly through West Central Ohio. I’ve highlighted the leading edge of storms to show the bow, or “backwards C” as I like to call it.
There were numerous reports of wind damage throughout our viewing area along with (as of this writing) three tornadoes that have been classified as EF-0. EF-0 tornadoes are the weakest kind of tornado, but pack a punch of 65 to 85 mph.
The tornadoes that formed along this bow echo were all very short-lived and likely quick spin up storms on the leading edge of the larger storm system. It’s when you get individual storms sometimes called “supercells” that you get stronger, longer lived tornadoes, this wasn’t the case Wednesday night.
Just outside of New Knoxville on 219, an EF-0 tornado did some serious damage to this barn. (Picture by Larry Niemeyer)
Along with the tornadoes, we dealt with straight line winds upwards of 60 miles per hour through the night, strong enough to be equal to a low end EF-0.
Straight line winds in Wapakoneta took out this Bob Evans sign just to the East of the city.
These are just a few of the many damage reports from the storms. All in all, there were 23 reports of tornadoes and 251 wind reports over the life of the storm as it moved from the Chicago area and then eventually through Ohio.
Thankfully we’re in for a calm end to the week here in West Central Ohio with cooler temperatures and sunshine into Friday!