The National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has published its 9 a.m. EDT update to its Day One Convective Outlook, in which the SPC outlines the various levels of severe weather risk around the country between now and 8 a.m. EDT tomorrow. A brief summary of the risk levels for northern Indiana and surrounding areas appears below. For the sake of SKYWARN storm spotters, I will refer to the quadrants set up by the IMO SKYWARN organization (see a map of those quadrants). For readers who are not part of IMO SKYWARN, Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana are part of quadrant two, which is also the quadrant in which I provide leadership among ham radio-equipped storm spotters.
|Probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point.
Hatched Area: 10% or greater probability of EF2 – EF5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point. (More Info)
As you can see on the map at left, almost all of Indiana and all of the four IMO SKYWARN quadrants have a five percent probability of a tornado within 25 miles of any point (for a better understanding of the significance of the these seemingly low probability numbers, see my blog post of yesterday). The greatest probability of tornadoes today and tonight is in extreme northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. There, the probability of a tornado of any size is 10 percent. Note that “hatched area,” which is basically the same as the 10 percent area. In that area, there’s also a 10 percent or greater probability of a tornado that’s at least an EF2 in strength (see a description of the enhanced Fujita scale). Notice that Chicago and its western suburbs appear to be in this area of greatest tornado risk.
Damaging wind probabilities
|Probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots or higher within 25 miles of a point. Hatched Area: 10% or greater probability of wind gusts 65 knots or greater within 25 miles of a point. (More Info)|
Damaging “straight-line” thunderstorm winds present a much greater risk in the IMO SKYWARN area today and tonight. All of quadrants two and three, the Indiana counties of quadrant four and the Indiana and Ohio counties of quadrant one have a 45 percent probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (57.5 mph) or higher within 25 miles of any point. The same risk covers most of the northern halves of Illinois and Indiana and most of the western half of Ohio. The remainder of Indiana has a 30 percent risk, as does most of the remainders of Illinois and Ohio and extreme southern Wisconsin and Michigan. In addition, there’s a 10 percent or greater probability of wind gusts of 65 knots (74.8 mph) or greater within 25 miles of any point in quadrants two and three, the Indiana counties of quadrant four and the Indiana and Ohio counties of quadrant one. See a blog post that explains what kind of damage to expect from these wind speeds.
|Probability of one inch diameter hail or larger within 25 miles of a point. Hatched Area: 10% or greater probability of two inch diameter hail or larger within 25 miles of a point. (More Info)|
Hail probabilities are also very high. All IMO SKYWARN quadrants, plus most of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, have a 30 percent probability of hail of one inch diameter or larger. In addition, all of quadrants two, three and four and most of quadrant one have a 10 percent or greater probability of hail of two inches diameter or larger. I hope the damage that an ice ball of that size can do is fairly obvious.
The SPC convective outlook does not present a risk of flash flooding, but that risk certainly exists. See a multi-media briefing from the Northern Indiana weather forecast office, which includes a mention of three inches of rainfall or more. Urban areas that are prone to flooding, including those that saw flooding June 1, could be at risk for new flooding, if heavy rain again overloads municipal drainage systems.
The 9 a.m. SPC convective outlook indicates that most of the severe weather in northern Indiana and western Ohio will probably happen later tonight. That said, there is a chance that some isolated thunderstorms, including possible supercells, could pop up in the middle to late afternoon hours.
Where to find updates
Make sure your weather alert radio is working. It will sound off if any watches or warnings are issued for your area. If you don’t have a weather alert radio, buy one today! In the interim, keep a television (tuned to a local station) or radio (tuned to a local station that has a live DJ) on and within earshot during the day.
The next SPC Day 1 Convective Outlook is due out by 1:30 p.m. EDT. Also, watch for updates to the NWS Northern Indiana weather forecast office’s Hazardous Weather Outlook, which come out as necessary. Before the SPC issues a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch, it usually issues a Mesoscale Discussion. The SPC Mesoscale Discussion page displays these products as they’re issued.
I’ll update this blog as things develop, if I have time. But I must also get work done in my regular job today!