Severe Weather In The Midwest This Wednesday


A strong frontal system will plow through the middle part of the United States on Wednesday bringing a widespread threat for severe weather across America’s heartland. As of today’s forecasts, here is how the set up is looking for Wednesday.

Wed Set Up Day

Several different ingredients for severe weather will be coming together including a strong cold front and VERY active jet stream helping to stir trouble here on the ground. One thing to notice on the above graphic is that this system will have limited moisture (dew-points) to work with. This is typical for this time of year the further north you are but it doesn’t completely rule out the chance for severe weather, even though typically the more moist the air is the better the overall threat for storms.

Here is the current outlook from the National Weather Service for Wednesday’s potential storms.


Notice how the set up graphic above correlates with the outlook. The area where the strong jet stream winds, cold front, low pressure and moisture coincide is where the best chance for storms including isolated tornadoes will be Wednesday afternoon and evening.

All of this activity will head our way Wednesday night with the chance for strong storms here in West Central Ohio. The good news for us is that several factors will work against us getting any severe weather. Here is a look at the potential set up by about midnight on Wednesday night.

Wed Night Severe

We’ll still be dealing with a strong jet stream moving in, so that greatly enhances our chance for strong winds to the tune of 40 to 50 mph. But we won’t have barely any moisture to work with and without higher dew points the atmosphere has trouble becoming unstable, and without that instability storms have a hard time developing and maintaining strength. Here is a look at our projected dew points Wednesday night. Notice the higher dew points staying to the south and west of West Central Ohio. Where you find the higher moisture, that’s where you’ll find the better chance for storms Wednesday night.

Wed Night Dew Point

Looking closer at the severe weather outlook, it’s clear that’s where the better chance for severe weather is as well.



Having said that, a very strong jet stream can sometimes make up for a lack of instability, but the fact that all this is trying to come together at night has me pretty confident that we’ll very likely just deal with the chance for gusty winds into Thursday morning.

This is definitely something worth watching over the next day or so, but as I mentioned above, I’m not too concerned as of now. Stay tuned!

Also! Be sure to check out our Weather App! It’s great for radar and active watches and warnings!

New App




Severe Weather Possible Wednesday

The heat is on here in West Central Ohio with a high today here in Lima of 93 degrees! We’ll likely top out around 90 once again on Wednesday but unlike today, we’ll see a legit chance for some severe weather developing in the region. A cold front will continue to slowly shift south during the day on Wednesday bringing the potential for scattered showers and thunderstorms to the region by the afternoon and evening hours. Any storms that develop during this time could become strong to severe especially with CAPE values over 2,000 j/jk expected. Here is a look at the SREF ensemble probabilities of CAPE over 2,000 j/kg tomorrow afternoon and evening. Almost all of Ohio has a better than 50% chance of achieving CAPE values that high. That would provide more than enough fuel to initiate storms.

Wednesday CAPE

Unlike today, we’ll actually have a front in the region to provide a trigger for potential storms. There is the possibility that at some point during the late afternoon and evening Wednesday an MCS type system could develop and move through. This has been shown in the latest RPM model runs. Here is a look at what could POTENTIALLY be moving through by late evening tomorrow around 10 PM.

Wednesday Future

In this case my biggest concerns tomorrow late afternoon and evening would be hail and damaging wind potential, the threat for an isolated tornado would be pretty low. Flooding could also become a concern for any slower moving cells that develop.


Here is the NWS Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for severe weather on Wednesday.


I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Keep an eye to the sky and stay cool. Don’t forget our free weather app if you haven’t downloaded it yet! It’s a great tool for tracking storms!





Severe Weather Possible Wednesday (Update!)

A violent severe weather situation is unfolding across parts of the midwest this evening with a RARE high risk alert issued by the NWS Tuesday afternoon for Nebraska and Southern Iowa.


As of early this evening storms were still developing rapidly in this region with widespread damaging wind and tornadoes possible.

Current Radar

As the evening progresses these storms will congeal into a larger system, possibly similar to the Derecho that moved through here back in late June of 2012. (for more on the definition of a Derecho, check out a past post here)

As we look at our Futurecast, this developing storm system will track along a warm front that will be the boundary between very warm moist air and a more stable air mass to the north. Here is a look at where Futurecast places the system by about 2 or 3 AM Wednesday morning.

Future 1

As the system continues to ride along the warm front widespread damaging winds will race across Illinois and eventually into Indiana where they should begin to weaken.

Future 2

By the time the storms get to Ohio in the 7 to 10 AM timeframe they will still be potentially strong with isolated damaging wind and HEAVY rain possible.

Future 3

With this system essentially crossing through Illinois and Indiana overnight I do expect it to lose steam. But don’t let your guard down tomorrow morning! We’ll likely wake up to strong thunderstorms moving into West Central Ohio with the possibility of some severe producing winds over 50 or 60 mph!

The best warmth and moisture needed to sustain severe thunderstorms on Wednesday is expected to reside generally along and south of Route 30.

Outlook Wide

And a closer look…..

Outlook Zoom

My thinking is that if we do get some stronger storms in the 7 to 10 AM timeframe here in West Central Ohio, that will very much inhibit our chance to see any redevelopment later in the day. Storms in the morning will likely limit our chance to see any destabilization into the early afternoon hours, but this is still something to watch VERY closely! I say this because even though it looks as if the best ingredients appear to remain just to our south, if the warm front can push its way north just another 50 miles or so we’ll be in a much more favorable situation for severe weather into the 2 to 5 PM timeframe! For now here is a look at Futurecast and where redevelopment of storms is anticipated to occur by early afternoon Wednesday.

Future 4

By 6 or 7 PM the severe threat will likely come to an end.

Future 5


There will be TWO time periods to watch for severe weather on Wednesday. The first will be 7 to 10 AM as the remnants from Tuesday evening’s storms move into West Central Ohio. The second will come in the 2 to 5 PM timeframe when redevelopment is possible around the low and warm front. Overall I believe that the timing and placement of this system is just a bit off for a larger severe weather outbreak here. The timing being that storms will be weakening overnight as they move through Illinois and Indiana and placement of the warm front being just to our south. During the two time periods I mentioned above damaging wind is my biggest concern. However, if storms can redevelop across parts of West Central Ohio Wednesday afternoon there will be a small threat for isolated tornadoes as storms fire.

You know I’ll keep you updated! Be sure to watch at 10 and 11 tonight for all the latest!

Track any potential storms on our new Weather App!!!





Wednesday Night Tornadoes And Damaging Wind In West Central Ohio

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.

1112 Radar

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.

Confirmed Tornadoes

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)

New Knoxville EF-0

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.

Bob Evans Wapak

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.

Wind Reports

Thankfully we’re in for a calm end to the week here in West Central Ohio with cooler temperatures and sunshine into Friday!


Severe Weather Expected Late Today And Tonight

Thunderstorms are expected to develop across the region this afternoon and into the overnight hours with damaging wind being the biggest concern. Hail, heavy rain and even isolated tornadoes are possible as well. The NWS has West Central Ohio right on the Eastern edge of a “high risk” area for severe weather. High risk zones are reserved for very high confidence in severe weather and rarely issued. Again, we are not right in the middle of the high risk area, we are right on the edge of it with most of West Central Ohio in a moderate risk, a little bit of a silver lining…..


Late this afternoon and evening, thunderstorms will develop along a warm front draped across West Central Ohio. These storms will have to be watched as a few of them could become severe from about 6 PM to 10 PM. But the timeframe I am still most concerned with is late this evening into Thursday morning from about 11 PM to 2 AM. It’s during this time frame that an area of low pressure will move towards Northern Indiana and NW Ohio into a very primed environment for severe weather. Storms are expected to develop into Illinois and Northern Indiana then move towards us into Thursday morning. CAPE values of over 3,000 j/jk will be in place late this evening thanks to a very warm/moist air-mass in place. Here is a look at the CAPE values around 9 PM tonight.

Tonight CAPE

With values like this in place any storms that form into Illinois and Indiana should have no problem sustaining themselves. The good news is that we should be able to see these storms coming from miles away as they develop a couple states over to our West and move towards us in the form of a severe squall line.

Another important ingredient in place will be upper level winds, strong winds are forecasted above the surface. These strong winds higher up in the atmosphere help to add needed lift to keep storms going into the overnight hours.

The RPM, a short term model that has been very consistent over the last 24 hours continues to show a severe squall line of storms moving through the region around the midnight hour.

RPM Tonight

As of now storms into Thursday morning are expected to form a squall line capable of destructive winds. Since the worst of the storms are expected to come into the overnight hours, PLEASE take the proper precautions now to make sure you’re prepared. It will be a busy day for sure!



Possible Severe Weather And A Big Warm Up!

Temperatures today are feeling much warmer here in West Central Ohio thanks to a warm front that has lifted through the region bringing highs in the 80’s along with increasing moisture/humidity in the region. It’s along and just South of this warm front where the best chance for severe weather lies. WARM FRONT

The NWS still has most of West Central Ohio under a slight risk for severe weather, with better chances mainly North of Route 30 closer to the warm front.


Because of the presence of the warm front just to our North, very warm and moist conditions have been allowed to work into the region. The warm front acts as a trigger for showers and thunderstorms, especially later this afternoon and evening. But because this front is off to the North of us into Southern Michigan, our chance for severe storms is not as high as into parts of extreme NW Ohio and Southern Michigan. In these areas closer to the front there is also a chance for an isolated tornado or two. The warm front not only acts as a trigger for storms but it also creates a change in wind direction near the surface which helps to create possible rotating thunderstorms. Here is a look at where the NWS has highlighted a low-end chance for a tornado. Notice it is along the warm front.


Our biggest threat here in West Central Ohio will be the possibility of damaging wind, and to a lesser extent hail. BUT an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out!

Short term models confirm that the majority of the activity will form mainly along route 30 and North into this afternoon and evening. Here is a look at the predicted radar by about 6 PM this evening.


All in all, with MUCH warmer and humid conditions and a warm front in the region there is an elevated risk for strong to severe storms this afternoon and evening. I’ll be watching very closely!




Tuesday, May 21st Severe Threat

West Central Ohio continues to face a low-end severe weather threat after a very warm, but calm day on Monday. Our biggest threats into the afternoon and evening hours will be for damaging wind and hail with a very low chance for an isolated tornado here into Ohio, Indiana and Southern Michigan. Here is a look at the National Weather Service’s tornado outlook for the remainder of today.

Today Tor

Notice from the map that the highest chance for tornadoes is well to the South of us. The area that bears most watching this afternoon has thankfully shifted South and East of the Oklahoma City area, more specifically the city of Moore that took a direct hit from an EF-4 (possible EF-5) tornado on Monday.

Here is a look at the overall outlook with West Central Ohio under a slight risk.

Today Outlook

We are seeing some sunshine in West Central Ohio early this afternoon and that will help to destabilize the atmosphere later on. CAPE values in the region will be in the 1,000 to 2,000 j/kg range later this afternoon and evening, that’s not impressively high but enough to probably initiate storms in the region. Here is a look at the forecasted radar by about 7 PM this evening.


We will not however have much upper air support for storms in the region, I can see this by looking at the forecasted 500 mb level in the atmosphere. Like the past few days, a big upper level trough at the 500 mb level will be present over the center of the US, but the more active parts of that trough are forecasted to be North and South of us here in West Central Ohio.

Notice the higher wind speeds in the trough where the better chance for tornadoes is into the Southern US. The increased wind speed at this height in the atmosphere adds lift and much-needed wind shear to help create rotation in the atmosphere. Higher wind speeds will also be present over Southern Michigan as well but not to the extent in the South.

500 mb wind

Overall, we do have a chance to see a few strong to severe storms, but the better ingredients for a more widespread event are elsewhere for the day. I will be watching closely all afternoon and evening, please join me later this evening on Your Hometown Stations for the latest.




May 15th Texas Tornadoes

Up until last night it had been a pretty quiet start to the severe weather season across the United States. With storm teams from the National Weather Service surveying the damage today, storm surveys show the area of Granbury, Texas was hardest hit by storms with reports of as many as 6 people dead and many more injured. Preliminary reports out of the region by NWS meteorologists are showing EF-4 tornado damage. The same strength as the storm to hit Van Wert in 2002.

A home completely taken off its foundation in Granbury. Courtesy NWS

Preliminary Damage

While watching the storms last night, our radar caught the very strong rotation within the storm that produced this deadly tornado. This radar image shows the tornado just as it passed East of Granbury. The red colors indicate winds moving away from the radar and the green colors indicate winds moving towards the radar site. Where the two bright red and green colors meet, that’s where you have the potential tornado.


When strong rotation like this shows up on radar, it’s usually a very good bet that there is either a funnel cloud present or a tornado on the ground. Surprisingly, there have only been 3 actual reports of tornadoes from last nights storms. But the ones that did form appear to have been very strong.

Here is a look at the storm reports from spotters on May 15th.

May 15th storm reports

Here is a link to the National Weather Service’s preliminary report from the region.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those communities in Texas hit by last nights storms.





Thursday Severe Weather UPDATE

A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of our viewing area until 5PM. This watch from the National Weather Service has been classified as a Particularly Dangerous Situation Watch or PDS watch. Typically when this type of watch is issued, the development of several tornadoes is expected within the watch area.


Since we are on the very EASTERN edge of this Tornado Watch, our threat for the severe weather looks like it won’t come until closer to the 3 to 6PM time period. The latest short-term models both seem to agree that the line of severe storms will not begin to move into West Central Ohio until later in the afternoon.





I talked about Wind Shear in my previous post, and no doubt about it, the strongest shear (change in wind speed or direction with height) will be focused right on Northern Indiana with wind speeds at about 5,000 feet screaming at over 100 mph!

WINDS at 850

Couple this with daytime heating and you have a very prime set up for a tornado outbreak. The Tornado Watch is only until 5 PM, but I suspect that our threat for severe weather in West Central Ohio will be more towards the late afternoon and evening hours.

Please stay tuned to Your Hometown Stations through the day for breaking weather coverage and our Facebook page for updates! If things get going later this afternoon we’ll do our best to keep you updated through social media.




Thursday Severe Weather Threat

Damaging winds, hail, and even the possibility of an isolated tornado can be expected as we venture through our Thursday thanks to a frontal system very similar to last week. Here is how I think the storms will unfold as of Wednesday evening…….

A warm front will slowly lift North through the region tonight allowing for scattered showers and thunderstorms into the early morning hours Thursday. Severe storms in Illinois and Indiana will gradually move East along a warm front overnight and gradually weaken as they head towards West Central Ohio. Even though a gradual weakening trend is expected, a strong thunderstorm can’t be ruled out into tomorrow morning. The latest forecasts have decided not to push a warm front as far North as previously expected, because of this I have upped the chance for showers and thunderstorms into tomorrow morning along with dropped temperatures a few degrees for Thursday. Here is a look at the NWS’ short term model (HRRR) showing showers and t-storms in the region tomorrow morning.


By tomorrow afternoon, most models show a warm front that has moved to our North. What is interesting though is that the latest short-term model runs have been picking up on showers and thunderstorms in the region developing once again early tomorrow afternoon. Our own RPM model is showing a potential squall line moving through tomorrow early afternoon around 2 or 3 PM.

Thursday Afternoon Future

My previous forecasts have not accounted for thunderstorms moving through early tomorrow afternoon. But now that short-term models are picking up on this possibility a couple of things would likely change:

1) Damaging winds and hail would be possible earlier than anticipated.  Originally I was holding off on the chance for severe weather until the late evening/overnight timeframe. If this trend in the models continues, that could change.

2) Temperatures will NOT warm quite as much. We’re probably not getting to 80 if we have showers and t-storms to deal with both in the morning and early afternoon. This would limit our overall instability, potentially lessening the severity of storms later in the evening and overnight.

Even though I’m now including a better chance for thunderstorms during the day Thursday, that doesn’t change the fact that I think our best chance for severe weather won’t come until the late evening/overnight time period. One thing all models have been VERY much agreeing on is a strong cold front plowing through the region into West Central Ohio in the midnight to 3 or 4 AM timeframe.

Futurecast Early Friday AM

It looks as if the biggest threat as the front moves through will be damaging winds. But with very strong winds expected both at the surface and into the upper levels of the atmosphere, isolated tornadoes look to be a possibility. This will be a classic HIGH SHEAR low INSTABILITY environment. Winds at the surface as these storms move through will be out of the SOUTH at about 20 to 30 mph with stronger gusts. Only about 2000 feet above the surface, winds will be roaring at close to 70 mph.

NAM 925

When you have a change in wind SPEED or DIRECTION with height, that is called wind shear. We are expecting high winds through every layer of the atmosphere along with some directional shear too, this would lead to favorable tornadic conditions. HOWEVER, there is expected to be VERY little instability. This parameter is measured by CAPE (this is the atmospheres ability to produce rapidly developing thunderstorms) and with it being the middle of the night, little to no CAPE Is expected.


For an ideal severe weather situation you want to see both high CAPE and high WIND SHEAR. With high wind shear, it’s a safe bet to say that damaging winds will be the biggest concern tomorrow night. I’ll keep you updated!