Severe weather risk continues to haunt Halloween

Wind and tornado probability maps from 9 a.m. EDT convective outlook
Top: Probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph )or higher within 25 miles of a point (yellow = 15%). Bottom: Probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point (green = 2%).

All of Indiana remains at slight risk of severe weather today, according to the Day One Convective Outlook that the National Weather Service Storm (NWS) Prediction Center (SPC) issued at 8:50 a.m. EDT. The slight risk area also includes approximately the southern third of lower Michigan and all but extreme southeastern Ohio. It includes the entire 37-county warning area of the northern Indiana NWS office.

The primary risk is damaging straight-line wind. The probability of damaging winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or higher within 25 miles of any point is 15 percent throughout the slight risk area. There’s also a two percent probability of a tornado within 25 miles of any point in an area that includes most of Indiana and two counties into Ohio (for SKYWARN spotters, the 2 percent tornado probability includes all of IMO SKYWARN quadrants two and three, a large part of quadrant 4 and a small part of quadrant one).

The chance of thunderstorms will increase early this evening as a cold front approaches from the west, according to a Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO) that the northern Indiana NWS office issued at 5:21 a.m. EDT. Forecaster also indicated that locally heavy rainfall amounts are possible from today through this evening that could lead to localized flooding of low lying and poorly drained areas (including streets where catch basins are blocked by leaves).

SKYWARN storm spotter activation might be needed this evening, according to the HWO. See an email message to spotters sent mid-morning by the warning coordination meteorologist at the northern Indiana NWS office.

The mayor and police chief of the City of Fort Wayne have decided not to change today’s official trick-or-treating hours in the city (read more). Parents who plan to take their children trick-or-treating this evening should have some means of receiving immediate word of any watches or warnings that the NWS might issue. Possibilities include keeping the car radio tuned to a local station, signing up for text alerts available on the websites of many local media outlets and/or installing a weather alert smartphone app.

We’ll get our next looks at today’s severe weather risk with updated convective outlooks that are due by 12:30 p.m. 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

You can also learn more about today’s weather event by watching and/or participating in a Twitter “tweet-up” that the northern Indiana NWS office will conduct between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. EDT. Read more about the tweet-up.

October is not part of peak tornado season but that’s no reason to ignore today’s risks. Read more.