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Posted: November 13, 2017

Could a coming storm system turn into a ‘weather bomb’?

A major storm system set to impact the Miami Valley late this week has slowed down. This will help limit the threat for severe thunderstorms. However, the threat for strong winds remains and winds could gust over 40mph as we start the weekend. Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell details what to look out for.

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Could a coming storm system turn into a ‘weather bomb’?
A Dollar General in Celina was among multiple businesses damaged in a trio of tornadoes that hit Mercer County on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. JAROD THRUSH / STAFF

By Eric Elwell

UPDATE (Nov 15) 2:30 p.m.

The first of two major storm systems to impact the Miami Valley is crossing the area this evening bringing with it showers and breezy conditions. 

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We are still tracking a stronger system which will impact our area Friday into Saturday. There have been some changes in how the late week storm is set to evolve. Earlier model runs from a few days ago showed this storm system rapidly strengthening and pushing across the Miami Valley late on Friday. 

That timing would have increased the risk for severe storms in our area late Friday and produced a significant threat for high winds. While the threat for strong winds still appears to be on the table, the timing has changed based on the latest model runs.

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Now, the storm system is forecast to move into the Ohio Valley early Saturday morning which will lower the threat for any severe storms. It also appears the storm system will not quite “bomb out” as it moves across the Great Lakes, although it will still intensify rapidly as it moves into the region. It now appears the storm system will not meet the definition of a “bombogenesis” which would mean the storm system would need to strengthen 1 millibar per hour for 24 hours.

That being said, there will still be a strong low-level jet stream that sets up with and just behind the storm system. As the storm system moves into the region late Friday, gusty winds will pick up to near or over 25 mph. As the cold front crosses early Saturday morning, wind gusts of over 40mph will be possible.

As cold air ushers in on Saturday morning, wind gusts could jump to between 40 to 50mph briefly before diminishing some Saturday afternoon and evening.

It will remain blustery through the weekend with temperatures falling from the 50s into the 30s Saturday and holding in the 30s on Sunday.

There will also be the chance for some scattered flurries or snow showers late Saturday night into Sunday, especially north of I-70. 

FIRST REPORT

As the seasons begin to change, the clash of warm and cold air masses fuel big storms, and we’ve certainly been a witness to that this month.

November is certainly known in history to produce some doozies. Just this past weekend, we passed the anniversary of the Veteran’s Day tornado outbreak that killed 36 people, including four in Ohio, in 2002. It was also the 42-year anniversary of a severe Great Lakes storm in 1975 that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald, killing all 29 on board.

A little more than a week ago, another massive storm produced 17 tornadoes in Ohio alone, with more in Indiana. Now, if the forecast models are correct, another major storm looks to impact the Miami Valley by the end of this week.

» READ MORE: National Weather Service confirms 17 tornado touchdowns in Ohio

Since last weekend, our long-range models have been showing the potential for another intense storm system to develop across the Northern and Central Plains late this week. The storm system is then forecast to begin “bombogenesis” as it sweeps into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Bombogenesis refers to a rapidly intensifying area of low pressure.

To be classified as a weather bomb, the central pressure of an intensifying storm system must drop at least 24 millibars within 24 hours. Such storm systems are known to produce very strong, and in some cases near hurricane-force, winds. These types of systems are quite common near New England in the winter when Nor-Easters produce massive amounts of snow and blizzard conditions up the East Coast.

» READ MORE: 15 damaging storms that pounded Ohio in recent history

Sometimes these power storm systems can form near or over the Great Lakes and are aided by the relatively warm waters of the lakes. Late this week, we may get to witness what one of these intense storm systems looks — and feels — like.

At this point, it is too early to know if severe winds will be felt across the Miami Valley, but the potential exists for wind gusts to exceed 50 mph by late Friday and perhaps into Saturday. With such wind speeds, some power outages could be possible and should be planned for. If you have any loose items still outside, you’ll want to secure those before you go to bed Thursday night.

» WEATHER: Get the latest Storm Center 7 forecast

The greatest impact from the high winds will likely be closer to the Great Lakes themselves, not to mention on the Great Lakes where waves could grow to over 10 to 15 feet (or perhaps higher). Also, if you have early Thanksgiving Day travel plans, some flights could be impacted by this storm beginning late Thursday and through the weekend.

One other important note, if you have already started decorating for the holidays, or are planning to start later this week or even into the weekend, you may either want to make sure everything is secure or just hold off until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Otherwise, your Santa Claus may just take flight after all, along with the rest of your decorations.


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