STATEWIDE–Nearly the entire state of Indiana could see severe weather at some point today, says the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. Tropical Depression Cristobal is moving north, bringing with it the threat of heavy rain, high winds, and tornadoes.
On Monday, the National Weather Service had most of central and all of western Indiana under a slight risk of severe weather. Now, nearly the entire state is under a slight risk, with the only exception being the far eastern portions of the state (marginal risk).
“We could see everything. We could see damaging winds and tornadoes. There’s a lot of spin in the atmosphere, which is typical of these land-falling tropical systems,” says Mike Ryan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “Mid-afternoon through about 8 or 9 o’clock tonight is probably when the greatest risk for damaging winds and tornadoes exist.”
Overall, the best chance for severe weather Tuesday is between 2 and 10 pm.
A slight risk means scattered powerful thunderstorms are expected. While storms may be short-lived, they can be intense. A marginal risk means isolated thunderstorms are possible.
As for why the tornado threat is greater today, Ryan says there is a simple explanation.
“Typically, we look at the favored area being to the right of a land-falling tropical system or to the east of a land-falling tropical system. Because the system is moving up through Missouri and Iowa, we (Indiana) are in that favored spot where the shear (turning of the winds in the atmosphere) is greatest. That’s why there could be a couple of tornadoes later this evening,” says Ryan.
Ryan also expects Cristobal to bring very heavy rainfall.
“This is tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, so you’re going to see a lot of quick downpours with these storms. I’m not really expecting any concern for flooding. The storms should be moving very quickly. We also could see wind gusts approaching 40 to 45 mph, maybe even a little bit higher, west of Indianapolis this afternoon,” says Ryan.
Then a cold front is going to move through on Wednesday.
“So that’s going to bring a renewed risk for severe weather like damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. The one benefit to the cold front coming through is going to have is that it’s going to take all the warm, humid air that’s coming north with it and set the stage for what looks like a really nice late end to the week with pleasant temperatures and low humidity,” says Ryan.
Ryan says temperatures for much of the state will be in the upper 70’s to low 80s through the weekend.
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