Slight risk of severe weather today

1300Z Day 1 convective outlook map

Update: Severe potential less clear. Read more.

SKYWARN storm spotters in northeastern Indiana, northern Ohio and southeastern lower Michigan might need to activate late this morning and/or this afternoon, due to a slight risk of clusters of severe thunderstorms with damaging straight-line winds and large hail. Among other areas, the slight risk area includes the entire eastern half of the area served by the northern Indiana National Weather Service (NWS) office (IMO SKYWARN quadrants one and two). In addition to severe wind and hail, locally heavy rain is possible.

Within the slight risk area, there is a 15 percent probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or higher and hail of one inch diameter or larger within 25 miles of a point and a two percent probability of a tornado, according to the Day 1 Convective Outlook that the NWS Storm Prediction Center issued at 8:57 a.m. EDT. Read more about outlook probabilities.

In addition, SPC issued a mesoscale discussion at 8:52 a.m. EDT in which forecasters indicated that they would very likely issue a watch for northern Indiana and northwestern Ohio shortly.

Map from mesoscale discussion 1654

Now for some meteorology: A cold front will move east-southeastward into the area today. Meanwhile, forecasters expect a corridor of moderate to strong atmospheric instability to form this afternoon across portions of Illinois, Indiana, lower Michigan and Ohio ahead of the front. These factors could combine with strong changes in wind speed with altitude to allow thunderstorms to develop near the cold front, with isolated severe wind and/or hail. The number and severity of storms depend somewhat on the amount of sunshine we get this morning. Heavy cloud cover would limit the atmospheric destabilization that severe storms require. Read more in an Area Forecast Discussion from the northern Indiana NWS office.

As always make sure you’ll be aware of any watches or warnings that NWS might issue today and remember, the Fort Wayne NOAA Weather Radio transmitter remains weak, so depending on your location, you might need another way to get watches and warnings.