Powerful thunderstorms have been pounding parts of the eastern Plains and western Midwest with numerous reports of hail, damaging winds and tornadoes from eastern Nebraska and Kansas into Iowa, Missouri and Illinois…and the energy that produced those storms is heading for the Ohio Valley.
Based on reports to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma there have been at least 77 severe weather reports including 16 tornadoes which have produced extensive damage in Iowa. As I publish this story no injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The storms to our west will weaken and may hit the Tri-State as showers and thundershowers by morning but the main event here is expected to be in the afternoon and early evening as a strong cold front moves southeast from the Plains into the Ohio Valley. The clash of air masses combined with a strong low pressure system (plenty of lift in the atmosphere) and strong jet stream winds will produce scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms from midday through the afternoon and conditions will favor damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes.
My main concern is that tornadoes could be a bigger threat than currently indicated because the low pressure center will pass just north of the Tri-State which places us close to the center of rotation in the storm and that can enhance rotation in thunderstorm updrafts in our area. Stay alert and keep a weather radio nearby if possible. A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch may be issued for all or part of the Tri-State during the afternoon, but even without a “watch” severe weather is possible and you should always be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions.
When I mentioned the “strong cold front” I wasn’t kidding. After highs in the upper 70s Monday and Tuesday, and a high near 70 expected later today, we’ll struggle to get into the low 40s on Thursday and Friday with lows in the 20s to low 30s…and more cold expected this weekend when we might even get a little snow.
Speaking of snow, we’re lucky that this storm is keeping the cold air north of us for now because a major snowstorm with local blizzard conditions is hitting areas of the northern Plains, the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region. Five to ten inches of snow will fall in Wisconsin and Michigan with blowing and drifting snow today and on the south side of the heavy snow is freezing rain. Travel is hazardous to downright dangerous from Minnesota to Michigan so we may be getting the better deal with only a threat for severe weather. Then again, it only takes one tornado to ruin someone’s day…
Skyeye Weather LLC