Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday, June 30: Chance of Rain Late Overnight

June will come to a close tonight
about 2" short of normal rainfall.

A line of rain showers/thunder is
moving across upper MI/WI/IA.

The air over Ohio is very dry this evening.
That is working against any significant
rainfall late tonight/Friday morning.

11:00 PM:  A line of showers is
passing through the Chicago area.

6:00 AM:  A line of showers is struggling
to hold together through our area.

Noon Friday:  The sun is breaking through.
A pleasant afternoon breeze.

Rainfall amounts will likely be less than .10"
at most locations in NW Ohio and SE Michigan.
Dry weather is expected Saturday and Sunday.
Monday will bring a slight chance of rain.

Robert Shiels WTOL    @RobertWTOL

No Drought Yet, But Soon

Sure has gotten dry in a hurry.  This during the wet spring, I presented several times to various farmers in the months of March and April.  The story was the same and I heard the grumblings and saw the looks of skepticism when I said it was going to be a hot and dry summer.  I even went as far as to call for a "Likely" Drought this summer.  Well, fast forward 3 months, and here we are!

Rainfall Summary
Currently, most of northwest Ohio is "Abnormally Dry" which is the precursor to a drought.  Rainfall deficits in Toledo since May 1st are now at 4" Below Normal.  Rain will be expected Friday morning, but it won't be enough to reverse the course of the overall dry weather.  This time of year, between soil moisture loss and evapotranspiration, the ground can lose  over 1" of moisture per week!
Drought Monitor -- Abnormally Dry
 If this patter persist through the first week or two of July, I fully expect true drought conditions to develop by middle July.  What gave the early clues to a hot and dry summer? Could El Nino and La Nina be players in this warm and dry weather?  More on that in the next post to come!

~Meteorologist Chris Vickers

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Alert: 9:00 PM Update

Beneficial rain is moving through the area.
Lightning and thunder can be expected.
Heavy downpours can be expected in
Hillsdale and Williams counties by 10 PM.

As mentioned in the 3:00 PM update
powerful storms are developing over Illinois.
A TORNADO WATCH is in effect there
and two tornadoes have been reported so far.
The risk of severe weather in this watch area
will move southeast into central Indiana
during the early morning hours.

Midnight:  beneficial rains continue across
our area.  Lightning and thunder continues
with a minimal severe weather risk.
The powerful storms near Chicago will
be into Indiana heading southeast. 

1:00 AM:  Severe weather is likely occurring
from southwest of Lima through Muncie
and Indianapolis.  Wind damage is likely
in this swath that will likely end up
threatening Dayton and Cincinnati.

2:00 AM:  Very heavy downpours of rain
will be moving into southwest Ohio.
Scattered heavy rains and thunderstorms
will continue across our area at this time.

Showers, lightning and thunder may linger
in northwest Ohio near daybreak.
It will become partly sunny by the afternoon.

Total rainfall amounts across our area will
vary greatly considering the scattered nature
of our showers and thunderstorms tonight.

Robert Shiels WTOL

3:00 PM Update - First Alert Day

Super hot in St. Louis where the sun is shining.
Clouds and rain are holding the temperature
down along and north of warm front.

We are now watching northern Illinois
near Chicago and southern lake Michigan.

In that area the sun will be shining
through late afternoon.

Thunderstorms should develop near Chicago
by 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

A cluster of thunderstorms will then move into
Indiana and western Ohio by midnight.
A significant risk of damaging winds
will accompany this line of storms.

Into the overnight...a significant risk of severe
weather continues with this line of storms
as it moves southeast.

In our viewing area:  showers and thunderstorms
are likely tonight with a slight risk of severe weather.
At this point the risk is greater along a
line from South Bend through Fort Wayne
and into the Lima and Dayton areas.

More details on WTOL-TV at 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

First Alert Wednesday Evening/Night

Chance of storms late in the day and
into the overnight hours.

Much of Wednesday will be very nice.

Partly sunny at noon.

Storms developing by late afternoon.

Heavy rain possible toward midnight.

Low pressure system is still approaching
during the early morning hours.

Note:  there is a good deal of uncertainty
with this forecast.  Be sure to monitor the
weather closely with the WTOL First Alert
Weather Team throughout the day.

Severe Threat -- Greatest Of The Season

Please be ALERT -- Wednesday night will bring the greatest threat of severe weather so far this season.  We have our First Alert Day in effect for the expected storms.
First Aler Day

The latest update from the Storm Prediction Center has our area in our first MODERATE risk for severe storms of the season on Wednesday night. 
Severe Risk Areas
 Our exclusive hour by hour forecast pinpoints the greatest threat of severe storms after 10 PM Wednesday.  Storms that develop are likely to merge into a MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) or large cluster of storms that contain "bow echo" segments that produce widespread damage and possible weak tornadoes.  
Hour By Hour -- 10 PM Wednesday

Hour By Hour -- 1 AM Thursday
 Greatest threats will be wind damage, however, large hail and even tornadoes are possible. 
Severe Storm Threats
The benefit of a storm system like this?  MCS storm complexes during the summer months of June, July & August are responsible for much needed rainfall during the very important growing season.  If these storms materialize, heavy rainfall of 1 to 2" may be possible across much of the area!  That would go a long way to quench the very dry weather we have recently seen.  
Add caption
~Meteorologist Chris Vickers

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Monday, June 20, 2016

First Alert Monday and Wednesday

Monday has already turned out to be on of the warmest feeling days of 2016 so far. Highs have reached the low to mid 90's. The atmosphere is set for scattered thunderstorms late Monday afternoon and evening. Some of these may be strong to severe with gusty winds, heavy downpours and hail. 

Once the storms tonight pass our attention will quickly turn to Wednesday, specifically Wednesday night. A complex of thunderstorms is expected to develop near Chicago Wednesday evening and track in our general direction. The exact track is TBD but many forecast models show our area potentially impacted by storms with strong winds and heavy rains.

Stay tuned to our future forecasts for more updates!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Strong & Severe Storm Threat Ahead

FIRST ALERT Day on Wednesday for the threat of strong or severe storms.  Our area remains under an "Enhanced" risk of strong or severe storms. 
Severe Risk -- Enhanced for NW Ohio and lower Michigan
It is possible that two rounds of strong or severe storms may be possible Wednesday.  
Alert Day Headlines
The first round is possible around midday as a warm front surges north across the area.  Threats of frequent lightning, gusty winds and hail would be possible. 
Hour By Hour -- Noon Wednesday
 As the warm front clears, the atmosphere may destabilize enough for round two which would be possible late in the day toward the evening.  
Hour By Hour -- 5 PM Wednesday

Hour By Hour -- 7 PM Wednesday
Storm threats will continue to include frequent lightning, gusty winds and hail. Stay tuned to updates and the WTOL First Alert Weather App!

~Meteorologist Chris Vickers

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday's Summer Sizzle

Saturday more than lived up to the hype for the hot and humid weather.  Highs soared close to record high territory reaching into the middle 90s!

Highs Saturday -- June 11th
A cold front will pack relief with much cooler and less humid weather.  Expect this cold front to arrive overnight with an instant improvement by Sunday morning
Cold Front Tonight
Highs on Sunday will be perfect!  Temperatures will be in the upper 70s with the cooler and much less humid feel!
Highs Sunday

~Meteorologist Chris Vickers

Friday, June 10, 2016

Stormy Saturday, but how Severe?

We know a couple of things for certain for tomorrow, its going to be hot (low 90s) and its going to be humid (very humid). The more complicated questions are, when are the storms coming and how strong will they be?

Our forecast for this First Alert Day is that storms are more likely beginning early afternoon into late evening. 3:00 - 8:00 PM is the window for the possible stronger storms. However, showers could start developing as early at lunch time. These storms will be scattered, not causing a complete wash out for your Saturday. The most likely threats include lightning, small hail and strong wind in areas of thunderstorms.

All of this comes down to timing and you can track these storms with us.

 Make sure to download the First Alert Weather App

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But what can you expect for tomorrow? 
 Very Humid:

Very Warm:

Front Brings Showers/Storms:

Will all of your Saturday plans being ruined?

Not likely. It will be hot and sticky but those scattered afternoon storms and showers will be just that, scattered, not a complete wash out. So stay weather aware with our app, and we'll keep you most up to date with what you need to know.

-Ellyn Fritz

Heat Returns Saturday, Does It Last?

It almost never fails. Just in time for all the graduation parties, outdoor weddings and festivals the weather turns HOT! That is the case for Saturday.

For the past 7 days the First Alert Weather team has been forecasting this warm-up. The question is: Is this it? Do we simply dive into the summer heat and never look back, or is this a quick warm-up?

You can always check our latest forecast here :First Alert 7-day Forecast

And download the First Alert Weather App: iPhone: Android:

Before we talk about where we are going, let's see where we are now: 

There is a ridge of high pressure developing in the central plains this weekend. This allows hot and humid air to spill into NW OH/SE MI. It also puts us on the edge of a stormy pattern. Although more widespread storms with this set-up are most likely into Ontario.

By next week the ridge has really broken down. Major heat is shoved into the southern states.

 Taking long range forecast models into account, they show some heat possibly returning near the last week of this month. But the pattern would also favor fast moving storm systems. This would be something to watch as strong/severe weather can be hard to forecast far in advance with this pattern. Often just a day or two notice is possible.

So are we stuck in a hot/humid summer pattern? Not by a long shot. The atmosphere is changing almost on a few day basis. This is a pattern where many will have A/C running for a couple of days and then open the windows for the next few. More up's and down's than steady heat or chill. 

-Ryan Wichman