A cold front is sagging southeast into Ohio this afternoon and is already sparking scattered showers and thunderstorms. With favorable instability and wind shear in place, these storms are likely to turn severe. The highest risk will be southwest of Columbus, but severe weather is still possible across central Ohio as well.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 9 p.m. EDT for Columbus today. Strong damaging winds in excess of 60 mph and large hail will be the main threats. Some hail could exceed 1.50” in diameter in the strongest storms. An isolated tornado can also not be ruled out, but the threat is low today. In addition to the above severe threats, very heavy rainfall and lightning will be likely in nearly all storms.
The main timing for storms will be between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. this evening. Again, the highest threat will be southwest of Columbus as you go towards Cincinnati. But an isolated threat remains for Columbus as well. A few isolated storms could re-develop overnight as the actual cold front crosses the region.
Behind the cold front, temperatures will fall back into the lower and middle 70s for the remainder of the week. Absolutely gorgeous weather appears to be in the cards for the holiday weekend! Highs will near 80 degrees on Sunday and head for the middle 80s on Monday.
Going into next week, a ridge of high pressure will build northward in the jet stream bringing in very warm and humid air to the region making the first unofficial week of summer feel very much like summer! An isolated storm is possible on Memorial Day but better chances for storms will return after Monday for the middle of next week.