Monday, February 28, 2011

Severe Weather Night Recap

We already had to stick around longer on a Sunday night thanks to the Oscars going until about 11:45 PM-ish, but my night was just beginning.  I was in the weather center for about 16 hours, well into the morning, and was on part of the morning show with Mike Terwilleger tracking the storms. I had been talking about the chances for flooding and chances for severe weather for Sunday night and it didn't disappoint if you are a severe weather junkie.  I will say, that for February, it was an impressive set-up as far as the atmospheric conditions, but I still was slightly skeptical that it would have turned out as active as it did.

We had the Flood Watch through Monday evening and strong storms were rolling in from Indiana as the cold front approached.  We had a handful of Tornado Warnings throughout the overnight hours that I cut into programming to update the viewers.  All of the tornadic cells were only radar indicated, meaning no one had spotted any funnel or rotation (at night its next-to-impossible unless lightning helps out), but the radar can detect winds and there was very tight winds going in opposite directions which indicates rotation and that's why the warnings were issued.  No confirmed tornadoes here in the area, but there was one confirmed tornado just to the east of Columbus.  The storms were moving about 70 to 75 miles per hour at times, so very strong winds were on the leading edge...I noticed a few of my neighbors yards are in disarray thanks to the strong winds.  Despite the threat of winds and tornadoes... it turns out that the worst part of last nights storms was the flooding...

We had already seen three inches of rain within the last week putting our rainfall close to two inches above normal for February....well last night some locations tacked on an additional 2.5 inches... that is insane!  Needless to say there was a flood warning for almost all of the Miami Valley all morning and it remains in effect for much of the area.  The rain came down so fast that a Flash Flood Warning was issued for Darke, Shelby, Miami, and Logan counties where they saw about two inches of rain in an hour.  Flash flooding is extremely dangerous because the water can rise much more rapidly than you can anticipate and often claims the lives of those who do not respect the warning...if not their lives, their property.  I had heard of several people who tried driving across a flooded road this morning only to find out the water was about three feet deep.  Not smart, at all.

Good news: Mild weather for the middle of the week with plenty of sunshine.  Hopefully we can dry out a little before the next rain moves in later Friday into Saturday.  Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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