Watches Issued: Severe Thunderstorms, Including the Threat of a Few Tornadoes, Return to Parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley

Linda Lam
Published: November 5, 2017

Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes have returned to parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley as a cold front pushes eastward through the region.

(MORE: Tornado Central)

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued the following severe weather watches:

  • tornado watch is in effect until 10 p.m. CST for parts of southern Illinois, southwest Indiana, western Kentucky and southeast Missouri. This watch area includes Paducah, Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana.
  • severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 10 p.m. EST for portions of northeastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and the northern West Virginia Panhandle. This watch area includes Pittsburgh, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Akron, Ohio.
  • severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 1 a.m. EST for parts of southern Indiana, extreme northern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio. This watch area includes Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky.


Current Radar, Watches and Warnings

Early Sunday afternoon, there were multiple reports of tornadoes in Jay and Blackford counties in Indiana. Lots of damage was reported, including to buildings and barns, and debris were scattered in all directions across fields.

Additional tornadoes were reported in Sandusky and Erie counties in Ohio mid-afternoon Sunday, where there was damage to homes, trees and power lines.

In Celina, Ohio, at least eight people were injured from an EF1 tornado that swept through the city. Several businesses and over 100 vehicles were damaged, according to the National Weather Service.

(LATEST NEWS: Tornado Causes Injuries, Damage in Ohio as Severe Storms Batter Midwest)

Early Sunday evening, a possible tornado caused damage to roofs and trees near Noble, Illinois.

Hail up to 3 inches in diameter was reported mid-afternoon Sunday in Collinsville, Illinois, and Festus, Missouri, in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The city of St. Louis saw 1-inch diameter hail from these storms.

Flash flooding was also reported midday Sunday in areas of northeastern Indiana, including Fort Wayne, with water over roadways. Later Sunday afternoon, flash flooding was observed near Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, with water up to 12 inches deep in some spots.

Water rescues were reported in the Dayton, Ohio, metro area Sunday evening, and Interstate 70 West was closed at Interstate 675 between mile markers 39 and 41 due to flooding.

The combination of plenty of warm, humid air in the region and a strong jet stream helping to increase wind shear will result in severe thunderstorms continuing Sunday evening in portions of the Midwest and Ohio Valley.

There are indications that supercells, or long-lasting rotating thunderstorms, may form, producing locally damaging wind gusts and large hail. Very large hail, with diameters larger than two inches, is possible, especially early Sunday evening.

Below is our latest forecast on the timing and magnitude of the severe threats late this weekend. 

Severe Weather Forecast

Sunday Night

  • Forecast: The cold front will continue sliding east, bringing numerous severe thunderstorms from southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois northeastward into Indiana, Ohio, northern and western Kentucky and perhaps as far east as western Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.
  • Threats: Damaging wind gusts and large hail should be the main threats.
  • Cities:  Indianapolis | Toledo, Ohio | Cleveland | Louisville, Kentucky
  • Note: Keep in mind that the sunset was earlier on Sunday following the end of Daylight Saving Time. This means that more storms will occur after dark than they would have in previous days. 


Sunday Night's Thunderstorm Forecast

In addition to the severe weather, flooding will also be possible. Flood watches have been issued from Indiana northeastward into western and northern New York. A widespread area of 1 to 2 inches of rainfall is likely in those regions, with up to 4 inches of rainfall in some locations, which brings the concern of flooding into Monday morning.

Monday, the cold front will track through the Northeast with rain and thunderstorms. However, instability is expected to be lower, and the ingredients necessary for severe thunderstorms are not expected to be nearly as favorable. Consequently, severe thunderstorms are not currently anticipated.

(MORE: Six Things You Might See in November's Weather)

Even though most of the U.S. is thinking more about winter storms than thunderstorms, November is part of the second season for tornadoes and severe storms. This makes it important to have a plan in place for severe thunderstorms year-round.


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