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The Storm Predication Center of America has placed the entirety of Greater Lafayette under either a Marginal, Slight or Enhanced Risk for Severe Weather for this evening. In their latest Convective Outlook, the SPC upgraded our southern and easternmost counties to and Enhanced Risk for Severe Weather due to the likelihood of storm intensification in those areas.
The combination of a potent low and associated cold front is expected to generate a line of thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadic activity. These factors however, completely depend upon the ability of that low to usher mild air in across the viewing area prior to the arrival of the cold front. Without the warmth, there will be no potentially severe storms.
As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for a massive swath of the country, stretching for nearly 700 miles from Ohio to Arkansas. However, none of our fifteen counties here in Greater Lafayette were included in the Tornado Watch, leaving our southernmost counties just on the periphery.
That being said, the latest model data suggests that a line of showers and thunderstorms should reach our northwestern counties beginning at 5:30 P.M. ET before intensifying and reaching the remainder of our westernmost counties at 6:00P.M. ET.
Between 6:30 P.M. ET and 7:00 P.M. ET, the now defined line of thunderstorm activity will have reached Tippecanoe County. By then, it’s possible that portions of the line may be generating wind gusts in excess of 60 mph along with periods of large hail. As the line marches further towards the east, the potential for tornadic rotation begins to climb.
The eastern third of the viewing area (including Clinton, Cass, Carroll, Howard and Miami Counties) will begin to catch the brunt of that line beginning around 7:30 P.M. ET. Current projections indicate that the line will continue strengthen during this period; frequent lightning, strong winds and large hail appear to be a possibility. Again, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, especially for Montgomery, Clinton and Howard Counties, after that point in the evening.
The last of the line should exit our easternmost counties between 8:30 P.M. ET and 9:00 P.M .ET. After that point, drier conditions will flow in across the viewing area. However a breezy westerly wind flow will drive temperatures overnight back into the upper 20s and low 30s; we’ll bottom out at 30° in Lafayette early Wednesday morning. The passing low may even supply the region with a few light flurries early on tomorrow!
Weather Team 18 will continue to keep you informed on the situation as it continues to evolve over the coming hours.