|Probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or higher within 25 miles of a point. Red area: 30%. Yellow area: 15%. Remaining area: Less than 15%. Highlighted counties: Northern Indiana NWS office county warning area. Source: SPC “Day 1 Convective Outlook,” 8:54 a.m. EDT. Read about probability figures.|
The probability of damaging straight-line winds in northeastern Indiana, southern Lower Michigan and northwestern Ohio today and tonight has increased, according to an updated “Day 1 Convective Outlook” that the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued at 8:54 a.m. EDT.
For the entire 37-county warning area of the northern Indiana NWS office, the outlook increases from 15 percent to 30 percent the probability of damaging thunderstorm winds or wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or higher within 25 miles of a point. A probability of 30 percent is on the high end of the “slight risk” category. You can get some detailed information what the probability figures mean on the SPC website, but here’s a brief explanation: If you consider that on a typical June 18, the probability of damaging thunderstorm winds occurring within 25 miles of you is probably one percent or less, the probability today is at least 30 times higher than on a typical day.
Don’t underestimate the damage potential of 58 mph straight-line winds! According to the Beaufort Wind Scale, winds of 48 mph to 55 mph can uproot trees and cause considerable structural damage. So even though the risk of tornadoes today is low, it’s a good day to pay attention to weather watches and warnings.