It might only be early February, but a deepening surface low moving across the midwest will usher in a slight risk for damaging winds heading into Tuesday.  As of now there is still some uncertainty surrounding the event’s timing and strength.  But it is definitely something to watch for those living in the Southern Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.

A surface low off the Colorado Rockies Monday deepens as it moves into the Great Lakes Region.  The low is driven by an upper level disturbance, helping it intensify.  The catch is that model runs have gradually decreased the overall strength of this disturbance, and with it, the strength of the surface low.  This could impact how much moisture and energy this system has to work with.

The advection of moisture-rich air into the heart of the Tennessee Valley is one key ingredient that needs to be watched closely for Tuesday.  Others factors include the timing and the track of the low.

Tuesday still has a favorable setup for showers and thunderstorms across the region.  The surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the Midwest settles in for the day.  A cold front associated with the low will help to generate showers and storms.

“…locally gusty/damaging winds will likely be the main risk with stronger storms, though marginal hail and even a tornado or two may also occur.” NOAA Storm Prediction Center

Storms that are able to become organized along the front will have the greatest chance of reaching severe limits.  The largest area of development is to the east of the Mississippi River heading into the late afternoon and evening hours.

For those living in the slight and marginal risk areas, make sure to keep the forecast in mind Tuesday afternoon and evening.  Once the system passes, high pressure will sink in, giving way to quieter weather to end the work week.


About Kevin Thiel

Kevin is a Meteorology Major and Mathematics Minor at Ohio University, with an interest for thunderstorm electrification and research. On campus, he serves as President of the AMS Student Chapter, along with Webmaster and Forecaster for the campus atmospheric lab. This past summer, Kevin interned at the National Weather Service office in Miami, Florida, using lightning and radar data to study severe thunderstorm potential. One day, Kevin hopes to enter into field of academia and research, or become a forecaster with the Storm Prediction Center.