A major severe weather outbreak is forecast this afternoon across much of the Great Lakes and Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a rare “High Risk” for severe weather across much of Illinois and Indiana as well as parts of Southern Michigan and Western Ohio. A highly unstable atmosphere, juxtaposed with an impressive storm system both aloft and at the surface, will act to trigger the development of impressive late-season severe thunderstorms. Impressive low level shear and wind turning will allow for the potential of widespread tornadoes, some of which could be violent. With time, the storms will organize to pose more of a damaging wind threat as they shift eastward towards the Ohio Valley. For more on the developing threat, stay tuned to the Storm Prediction Center page which will display all outlooks, watches and warnings.
In our area, the SPC has extended a “Slight Risk” for severe weather to include all of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. As the associated cold front sweeps through the Ohio Valley and eventually the Northeast US later today, the potential for isolated strong wind gusts is expected to continue. The threat, and intensity of the storms, is not expected to be nearly as severe as it will be back across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
The storms approaching our area are not expected to reach the coast until later this evening — so much of Sunday looks to feature relatively benign weather in our area, especially in comparison to areas farther west. The drizzle and clouds of this morning may even give way to some clearing across New Jersey and New York, allowing temperatures to warm up dramatically into the mid to upper 60’s ahead of the cold front. The threat for damaging winds later tonight seems to be relatively isolated, but storms capable of producing those wind gusts can certainly not be ruled out.
Stay tuned throughout the day for more information as the cold front approaches.