Friday, April 19, 2013

Windy! and MUCH Cooler.

80°. 

That was the high temperature recorded at the Toledo Express Airport Thursday, April 18th. Nearly 20° above normal for this time of year, and only a few degrees shy of the record high. 

Let's do some quick math:
Map of NW Ohio/SE Michigan shows 24-hour Temperature Change
As of 2pm, Friday afternoon, temperatures are 36 degrees COLDER than they were at this time yesterday. 

That would make the current temperature roughly 44°.

Temperature Map of Ohio at 2pm, Friday, April 19th

The reason for the few degree difference is the timing. Thursday, the high of 80 degrees was reached later in the afternoon hours. 

So, why the significant difference? Two words. Cold front. Clearly depicted on the temperature map, the cold front is now pushing most of Thursday's warmth and moisture out of the Toledo area and into parts of NY, PA, and MD. Goodbye, 80s.

Also the culprit of Thursday's chance for severe weather, this very strong cold front developed early in the week, and stemmed down from a strong low pressure system, through the midwest, and into parts of Texas. Storm reports ranging from funnel cloud and tornado sightings to wind damage and flash flooding came out ahead of this cold frontal boundary Thursday afternoon.

The cold front approaching NW Ohio was the driving force of Thursday's chance of severe weather

This type of event, known as a QLCS, or a Quasi-Linear Convective System, is known for producing strong winds, and spinning up multiple weak tornadoes. It's nature is defined by the developing squall line as it pluses forward in a wavy pattern from north to south. At the surface, the powerful low pressure system is the driving force, and severe weather is often detected in the 'warm sector' ahead of the cold front. 80°? Yeah. That's our warm sector. 

Luckily for us, there was minimal severe weather to speak of in NW Ohio. The conditions were prime for the development of large hail, damaging winds, and even a possible tornado. But sometimes, even ideal conditions can come up short. 

As meteorologists, we are never unhappy when severe weather doesn't happen. If it must happen, we'd rather it happen in an open field, miles away from civilization, where we can study it. But in a highly populated area? No thanks. 

So, today, instead of picking up debris, and calling the Red Cross, we're simply dealing with colder, windier conditions. Since the low pressure system that passed north of Ohio was SO strong, we are now seeing winds between 20-30mph sustained and gusts up to 45mph. 

Sustained wind speeds as of 2pm, Friday, April 19th
Air will rush from high pressure to low, in an attempt to balance the atmosphere, and achieve a state of equilibrium. As the low tracks further and further away from Ohio, winds will continue to flow towards it. Hence, our Wind Advisory for SE Michigan. 

Wind Advisory in effect for Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe Counties until 10pm, Friday, April 19th
So, when will these winds die down? Soon. 

The low pressure system will move far enough away that it will lose its grasp on NW Ohio and surrounding areas, and the gusty winds will travel East along with it. Tomorrow will be much calmer, but still cold. We can't bounce back from these plummeting temperatures THAT quickly. In fact, there's a chance of flurries overnight into Saturday. 

Both Saturday and Sunday will be cool, but dry. And much less windy. 
7-Day Forecast, valid April 19th-April 25th, 2013