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Severe weather possible today and tomorrow

Cincinnati Forecast - July 26th, 2014-slide0
Mike Groenke, SPC, NOAA

A seasonably strong jet stream will combine with plenty of heat and humidity this weekend to produce two days of severe weather for the Ohio Valley. The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of the Tri-State in a moderate risk for severe weather both today and tomorrow.

You may have been woken up by a few rumbles of thunder this morning Cincinnati. These storms formed along the leading edge of a very humid and unstable air mass that is moving into the Tri-State this afternoon. Expect plenty of sunshine and increasing humidity through the day. Dew points will rise above 70 degrees making it feel like the tropics outside! Highs will top out in the upper 80s.

A cluster of thunderstorms is forecast to develop well to our west late this afternoon. With strong wind shear present from a seasonable strong jet stream above, these storms will be capable of organizing and producing widespread damaging winds tonight. The exact track of the storms is still in question, but anywhere from Cincinnati south into Kentucky appears to be in play. The most likely time for storms will be after 11 p.m. tonight so be sure you have a way of being notified in the event a warning is issued for your location overnight. These storms could pack ferocious winds well over 60 mph, hail, and torrential rainfall. A moderate risk for severe weather has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center for areas just west of Cincinnati, but this may be extended east once the exact track of the storms is known this evening.

The storms will exit to our east Sunday morning and clouds will break apart allowing for sunshine once again. The atmosphere is forecast to rapidly destabilize once again ahead of a cold front moving in from the northwest. The highest risk for severe weather will be east of Cincinnati on Sunday with southern and eastern Ohio being the bulls-eye. If you know anyone heading to Hocking Hills or any parks in southern/southeastern Ohio on Sunday, they should be aware of the risk for tornadoes and severe weather and follow any warnings that may be issued. Highs will top out in the upper 80s on Sunday afternoon ahead of the storms.

That does not mean Cincinnati is completely out of the woods however. Scattered thunderstorms will begin to develop again by early to mid-afternoon amid an unstable atmosphere will plenty of wind shear again. Damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes will all be threats on Sunday afternoon and evening. Be ready to act if a warning is issued for your area.

The strong cold front will sweep through Sunday night bringing an end to the heat and humidity. Highs will cool off back into the 70s for the first half of the week and lows will once again drop well into the 50s!

It looks like below normal temperatures will stick around for the entire week as an upper level low gets stuck over the eastern U.S. With temperatures warming slightly by the end of the week, enough instability may develop for a few afternoon showers or storms.

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