It is hard to believe, but the high temperature this afternoon was 67 degrees! That breaks the old record of 65 set back in 2002 and 1975. A very strong weather system and cold front will swing through the Midwest and Ohio Valley tonight. This will bring a chance for heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds.
A moderate risk for severe weather is out across parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi this evening. Widespread damaging wind and tornadoes are likely thanks to the potent area of low pressure moving by to our northwest. Farther north in Ohio, a very strong low level wind field (between the surface and 5,000 feet) will enhance the threat for strong storms early Wednesday morning. However the limiting factor will be weak instability. This means there will be more than sufficient ingredients to spark storms and organize them, but very little actual energy for them to thrive on.
A line of showers and embedded thunderstorms will develop well to our west tonight. It will race east and slam into Ohio early Wednesday morning. Expect the worst weather to occur between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. in Columbus with light to moderate rain still likely through early afternoon. When the leading edge of the line arrives around sunrise, there will be a risk for pockets of severe weather. The winds just 1,400 feet above the surface will be screaming in excess of 60 mph! That means it will not take much of a thunderstorm to transport these winds to the surface. Because of this, we are under a slight risk for severe storms on Wednesday.
The bottom line is that strong winds of 40-50 mph will likely occur as this line of showers and thunderstorms moves through the area. Some isolated pockets of 60 mph gusts could also accompany the leading edge of the thunderstorms around sunrise Wednesday. Some minor wind damage to trees and power lines will be possible.
The actual cold front will lag behind the main line of storms and will not arrive until mid-afternoon. Another line of showers could form along the front, so keep the umbrella handy all day. Behind the cold front, winds could gust over 35 mph through the evening hours.
The temperature will take a nose dive behind the cold front as well. Highs will be in the low 60s by noon with temperatures dropping off into the lower 50s by 7 p.m. Lows will actually dip into the middle 20s by Thursday morning. A few isolated flurries will be possible Wednesday night from any lingering moisture although no accumulation is expected.
Thursday will feature much more tranquil weather although much colder weather also. Highs will struggle to hit 30 degrees. A weak clipper system may bring some light snow on Thursday night. Yet another clipper system could bring more snow on Saturday afternoon. Both systems have the potential to drop a couple inches of snow, however their exact tracks still need to be nailed down. Keep checking back with examiner.com for the latest updates.
Forecast graphics are in the slideshow!
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