Central Ohio

Summary: June 29th Severe Derecho

By: Buckey2745, 11:44 PM GMT on June 30, 2012

Yesterday was an absolutely incredible severe weather day here in Central Ohio that created hundreds of severe weather reports, high winds, down trees, and heavy rain. Yesterday's derecho was one of the most impressive storms I've seen in Central Ohio. Period. From the structure of the system, to the amazing cloud formation of the gust front, and especially the incredible high winds.

Unofficially here in Canal Winchester I recorded a high wind gust of 90.3mph. I will be the first one to dispute the accuracy of that reading since I didn't see any reports higher than the 80's around me, but still... these winds were some of the strongest I've ever been in. Tropical or otherwise.

The NWS and SPC put out this amazing graphic of the life of this derecho with wind gusts included:



When the storm hit I found myself running in teh driveway to catch a 90 gallon dumpster that blew over, sending trash flying throughout my new neighborhood. As I ran out I figured this storm would just have a strong initial gust front and the worst had already passed. While holding the dumpster the brunt of the storm hit. I could see debris flying toward me, everything from roof shingles, to tree limbs (not branches), and other large dumpsters being drug from their resting places.

I got lucky. All that happened with my house was some torn siding. Others in my neighborhood weren't as fortunate. I also escaped any power outages. Again, not everyone was as fortunate.


Just some of the neighborhood damage I could see before sunlight faded.

Ohio is under a state of emergency right now as even 24 hours later millions of homes are without power. It could take days, even weeks for all service to be restored.

Derechos can be some of the most widespread distructive storms in nature, but the good news is there was plenty of warning. Because of the history of this system, warnings were able to be issued up to an hour ahead of time. And if you're like me, watching the storm move from Chicago, you knew hours ahead of time that this was going to be destructive.

Not since the remenants of Hurricane Ike in 2008 has Central Ohio seen such destruction, and it may take a while to know the exact extent of this storm. But one thing we do know... everyone knows what a derecho is now.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 3
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 8
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 3
Excessive Heat Warnings: 1
Red Flag Warnings: 1

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Heat Turns to Storms

By: Buckey2745, 8:21 PM GMT on June 29, 2012

Today was another scorcher. My weather station actually made it hotter than yesterday, with a high of 99°. Today just felt worse than yesterday with higher humidity, dewpoints in the upper 60's. These high temps mixed with the higher dewpoints brought insane instabilities of up to 6000 J/kg, something rarely seen around here.

You can have extreme instability, but without a spark you have nothing. Today there's a spark. A stalled out frontal boundry with small distrubances running along it became a focal point for a large bowing MCS that developed around Chicago and has made a beeline for Central Ohio.

This feature prompted the SPC to increase our severe risk from slight to moderate for the rest of the day:



Many high wind reports with this large bow eventually gave way to our third severe thunderstorm watch of the season:



This is a mixed blessing. We need the rain, but we sure don't need a massive high wind MCS... but it looks like that's what we're getting.

The leading edge of these storms will be here in about an hour, right around evening rush hours, which is just about the worst timing you could have. Expect to see a squall line type shelf cloud approach from the west-northwest, with winds in excess of 60mph and warnings all along the line.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 3
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 6
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 1
Excessive Heat Warnings: 1
Red Flag Warnings: 1

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The Century Club

By: Buckey2745, 12:38 AM GMT on June 29, 2012

For the first time since 1999, Columbus reached 100° for a daily high at the airport. About 15 miles south of the airport I didn't quite get there, only making it to 98°. That temp was confirmed with a reading of 100° at a weather station to my west and 97° at a MADIS station just two miles southeast.

Even at this late hour (8:30pm) we're still in the mid 90's with the sun going down:



While the main story was unofficially hitting the century mark today, the real healine is that this is the start of a long term heat wave. For at least the next week in the extended forecast we're looking at mid 90's every day.

The only saving grace over the next few days is a stalled out front across our area that will bring a chance of rain through the weekend. But the coverage isn't widespread and the totals won't be enough to help our drought much.

Expect the next few days to be some of the most miserable of this young summer.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 2
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 6
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 0
Excessive Heat Warnings: 1
Red Flag Warnings: 1

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Record Heat, Fire Danger

By: Buckey2745, 11:43 AM GMT on June 27, 2012

As pointed out in the comments by AnalogueKid, it's been forever since Columbus hit 100°. In the quick research I could pull up, the first thing I could find was August of 2007 when Cincinnati hit 100° five days that month, but just barely. That makes me think Columbus was just a degree or two colder. Then I remembered July of 1999 when I actually moved to Ohio. Drought and heat was the name of the game that year. So officially Columbus hasn't hit 100° since July of 1999.

Right now the forecast for tomorrow is 99° in Columbus, a degree or two cooler in the outskirts. There's no doubt many weather stations will be at 100° tomorrow, so it's just a matter of whether it'll get that hot at the airport.

This heat is affecting everyone in the US, with a large ridge building in the heartland. It's possible that over 30 states will reach triple digits tomorrow.

Along with the heat we obviously have the dry conditions. I mentioned in the last post that we haven't had a whole lot of rain lately, and that'll hold true through at least the rest of the week. This will end up being a fire hazard for us, with dry vegetation and humidity very low today and tomorrow, there are Fire Weather Watches up to our west, and I expect to see that and heat advisories make their way to Columbus tomorrow.

Weather Station
Since the move is complete, what better time to get my weather station back online? Especially considering the record heat forecasted for tomorrow. The last time my weather station hit 100° was back on August 24th, 2008. Of course that was an unofficial temperature, but I can promise we'll get another unofficial 100° tomorrow.

Stay cool everyone.

UPDATE: 6/27, 5:42pm
As AnalogueKid posted earlier, we are now under a Heat Advisory for tomorrow and a Red Flag Warning. I've never seen one of these in Columbus either. I remember dry conditions in the past, having written about small brush fires back in October of 2010, but never a Red Flag Warning.

The forecast now shows 100° forecasted for tomorrow, which should easily be surpassed.

There's no doubt we will see fires tomorrow. It's just a matter of how many.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 2
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 6
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 0
Excessive Heat Warnings: 0

Updated: 9:53 PM GMT on June 27, 2012

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The Hottest

By: Buckey2745, 10:57 AM GMT on June 25, 2012

Central Ohio has been hot and dry lately. Not so dry that we're talking extreme drought, but it's definitely dry enough to make the lawns brown and the thought of fireworks here in the next couple weeks pretty unthinkable.

The weekly drought monitor shows that we are classified as "abnorminally dry" for most of Central Ohio, but not technically in a drought:



This is your normal Ohio pattern. A hot, bone dry summer. However last year wasn't this bad. Last year we never went below 2.9" of rain in a growing month, and also had the rainiest May on record. That helped.

So not only are we dealing with the dry conditions, but also the heat. So far in June we have been in the 90's 11 out of 24 days. When you combine that heat and the dry conditions, no wonder lawns look brown.

The Hottest is Yet To Come
Starting Thursday and Friday we could be under our first heat advisory for the season, with Friday being the worst. Temperatures will be 95° on Thursday and 98° on Friday! Combined with just moderate dewpoints and it'll feel pretty unbearable outside.

And there's not an end in sight.

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 2
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 6
Tornado Watches: 3
Tornado Warnings: 0
Flood Watches: 2
Flood Warnings: 1
Heat Advisories: 0
Excessive Heat Warnings: 0

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End of an Era

By: Buckey2745, 4:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2012

On February 10, 2008 I wrote my first entry on Wunderground, talking a little bit about a winter storm approaching our area. Little did I know I would write over 350 entries on here, covering everything from ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes, flooding to the most mondane... every Summer.

All of these entries have been written from my home base of Pickaway County, Ohio. It's somewhere I've lived since 1999, and have seen more weather events here than anywhere else I've ever lived.

Ashville, South Bloomfield, Circleville... I've lived in all of these small Central Ohio towns that reside in Pickaway County. It's a rather rural area that doesn't get much attention unless it's the third week in October and the Circleville Pumpkin Show is underway. Along with lack of recognition, it certainly didn't get any special coverage when it came to weather.

I like to think I helped that out a little bit.

I write because I love weather, I write because I love teaching others about weather, but most importantly write because I want to inform. Whether it's a forecast well ahead of a storm, conveying a watch or a warning for our area, or just giving analisys of a storm after it's past. These are the things people need to know, and I hope I've done a good enough job.

This may sound like a goodbye entry, but it really isn't. It's a goodbye to Pickaway County, my home for many many years. I'm moving to Canal Winchester, in Franklin County, the same county as Columbus. Now there's a bigger responsibility. Writing for a potential audience of almost 2 million people.

Sure, why not.

Starting Saturday my address will change once and for all. While writing for a more broad area is nothing new (I usually cover all of Central Ohio in the winter), it'll certainly be a change. When you live in one area all your life you're used to seeing the storms roll over familiar terrain. You're accustomed to certain paths and trends. While I'm only moving 25 miles north, it feels like a world away.

So that explains my silence for the last month and a half. Closing on a house, packing, moving... it takes a lot of your time. Oh, and Ohio weather has been pretty boring lately. Little rain, hot days makes for little to write about.

But don't worry, after this weekend I'm sure there will be plenty to post. Until then...

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About Buckey2745

I'm a 29 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.

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Lehman Estates
Canal Winchester, OH
Elevation: 754 ft
Temperature: 67.7 °F
Dew Point: 62.7 °F
Humidity: 84%
Wind: 1.0 mph from the ESE
Wind Gust: 1.0 mph
Updated: 7:54 AM EDT on July 26, 2014

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