Thursday, February 23, 2012

Severe Weather Likely Ohio/Tennessee Valley Region Later Today and Tonight...

Above is the latest severe weather outlook for today and tonight from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK. Severe thunderstorms are forecast within the yellow shaded area on the image.  The highest risk of severe thunderstorms, including large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes, roughly corresponds with the red and black hatched area on the image below:

The area with the highest potential of severe weather includes the cities of Evansville, Louisville and Cincinnati.

A vigorous upper-level weather disturbance will move East/Northeastward into the severe weather outlook area this afternoon and evening.  Meanwhile, at the surface, a strong cold front and low pressure area will move from near St. Louis at late afternoon into southwest Ohio toward Midnight CST.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop along and ahead of the surface front, near the Western edge of the severe weather outlook area, by mid to late afternoon and progress toward the East/Northeast into the evening hours.

Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are all possible with the activity that forms in this region.  Tornadoes are a particular threat within and near the red and black hatched area on the 2nd image above.

The threat of severe weather will be limited further to the South due to a layer of warm air just above the surface (also known as a capping inversion).  With most of the middle and upper-level energy forecast to pass to the North of the lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coastal area, widespread and/or organized severe weather is not expected in this region at this time.

If you live across the severe weather outlook areas, stay alert this afternoon and evening.  Listen to local media or another trusted source for later statements, watches and warnings.  Take the time now to review severe weather safety and preparedness tips and have a sheltering location in mind before severe weather threatens your area.

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