As of Saturday morning, over 345,000 central Ohio AEP customers are still without power from yesterday’s storms with the majority being in Franklin County. AEP says this event was bigger than Hurricane Ike in September of 2008 and Mother Nature may not be done wreaking havoc on the Ohio Valley yet.
Friday’s complex of storms was no ordinary line of severe thunderstorms. The complex that developed in Indiana turned into what is called a “derecho” by meteorologists. A derecho is a large (typically bow shaped) line of thunderstorms that produces a widespread swatch of damaging straight line winds sometimes in excess of 70 mph. Unlike normal storm lines, the high wind gusts are not localized. The vast majority of the region experienced at least a few wind gusts nearing 60 mph. Some locations even topped 80 mph!
Fortunately, this scenario does not appear likely again today. The atmosphere was intensely worked over yesterday afternoon from the storms that rolled through. However intense heating from the sun this afternoon will cause our atmosphere to become unstable once again. While the instability will not be as extreme as yesterday, there will be enough to support some strong thunderstorms. Forecasting the exact placement of storms is next to impossible this afternoon because no significant disturbances will be traversing the area. A stationary front draped across central Indiana and Ohio along with very small weather disturbances could set off scattered thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening. While widespread severe weather is not anticipated today, the risk is there for some storms to produce damaging winds. For that reason, the Storm Prediction Center has once again placed Ohio in the “slight risk” for severe weather.
The highest risk for severe weather will be south of Columbus closer to the Ohio River today. That risk will stay in place as we head into Sunday because the frontal boundary across the region will not be going anywhere. That means scattered thunderstorms will again be possible on Sunday. Some of these storms could produce damaging winds as they take advantage of the instability in the atmosphere.
Temperatures will remain hot over the next several days. It won’t be as extreme as Thursday and Friday, but highs will still be in the 90s through most (if not all) of next week. Combined with the humidity, the heat index will be anywhere from the upper 90s to lower 100s at times. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated through the heat and find places to cool off if your power is still out. Scattered thunderstorms will remain possible as well through the 4th of July. Have a great weekend!
The full 7-day is in the slideshow!
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