That slug of rain will come through the Valley this afternoon and evening. Outdoor plans for after work/school are washed out today.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Super Outbreak of 1974, which included the devastating tornado in Xenia, about 4 hours southwest of Youngstown. So it seems somewhat appropriate to mention that severe weather season is starting to kick into high gear. Today will be a very busy day across the Mississippi Valley. Each of these maps shows the odds of an event (tornado, damaging wind gust, large hail) occurring within 25 miles of any point.
No severe weather is expected in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania today. But tomorrow brings somewhat higher odds. A well-defined cold front will slice into warm and rather humid air across the Buckeye State and western PA:
I am doubtful that there will be many thunderstorms capable of producing severe weather here tomorrow. Why? The instability in the atmosphere, needed to cause lots of rising motion, isn’t very high. One measure of instability is something we call CAPE, or Convective Available Potential Energy. We like to see CAPE values over 1,000 when looking for a widespread severe weather “event”…but values tomorrow are closer to 500: Clouds are mostly to blame for the lack of instability. Clouds will prevent heating and destabilization of the lower atmosphere most of the day. By the time the sun tries to come out late in the afternoon, it may be too late for any storms to pop.
So, bottom line: severe weather is not very likely tomorrow, BUT if any stray storms get going, they could produce hefty, and perhaps damaging winds.
Rainfall totals over the next 60 hours will average 1.0″-1.5″ across the Valley. This should not be enough to lead to flooding problems, even in flood prone areas. The Mahoning RIver at Leavittsburg will crest around 7 feet or so:
Notice that 2nd “rise” in the graph on the right hand side. More rain is coming Monday and that will lead to rising water levels. When you add up the 2 rain events (today/tomorrow and Monday), rainfall totals will likely exceed 2″ in our region:
After this unsettled period, it looks to warm back up and Spring will kick into high gear with lots of things blooming!
Thanks for reading,