COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Flash Flood Watch started Friday morning at 2am as a combination of systems heads our way. A Flash Flood Warning is already in place for areas including Richwood OH, West Mansfield OH, and East Liberty OH until 2:00pm.
What to expect:
Right now we are watching as moisture from what was Tropical Storm Cindy makes its way northward into Tennessee and Kentucky and right up into the Ohio River Valley tonight. We are also watching a strong cold front to our northwest which is set to arrive later in the evening/early nighttime hours on Friday.
Out ahead of this cold front, we are watching rain showers streaming north as a warm front has pushed into southern Ontario this afternoon. We are also watching the outer edge of the rain shield of Cindy moving into our area as well.
As this remnant tropical low continues to move northeast over the next day, it will have a direct feed of moisture from the Gulf into the Ohio River Valley. This will mean copious amounts of moisture moving into Ohio mainly after about 3am on Friday.
At this point it looks like we will see scattered showers and a few storms after midnight Friday morning through sunrise. From mid-morning to mid afternoon the heaviest period of rainfall will enter our area with bands of heavy rain potentially training over the same areas, mainly near and south of I-70.
This is making for very heavy rainfall totals for the next 30 hours in Central and Southern Ohio.
Our in-house model is showing the heaviest totals along the US-22 corridor with 2-4″ rainfall totals possible through Saturday morning, with the bulk coming before the evening commute on Friday. It is important to note, that our high-res in-house model is picking up on the banding which if it shifts even 5-10 miles could mean a significant difference in rainfall totals.
It does look like we will see a somewhat of a lull in the action late afternoon to early evening Friday, before additional rainfall will roll through Friday night with the cold front. I do not expect the evening/early night rainfall will last as long or be as intense as the atmosphere will be worked over at this point, and the front should be moving at a fair clip through the area.
Below I have put together a forecast graphic for rainfall that better covers potential shifts in tropical moisture Friday:
Areas in the light blue north should see less of an impact from the tropical moisture, so the rainfall estimates are in a much tighter window of a half inch to an inch. Close to the southern part of this region we could see isolated spots of 1.5″ of rainfall
Areas in the green shading, we are generally going to see one to two inches of rainfall, however, there are going to be isolated spots that get under a heavy shower that could push 2-3″ of rainfall, especially to the south and east parts of this region.
Areas in the dark blue should expect at least one inch of rain everywhere, but there will be many 2-3″ rainfall totals in this region, and I do expect a few isolated spots getting 3-4″. There might be a spot that gets even higher totals with a stalled or slow moving cell in the southeast.
Keep your Storm Team 4 Weather App handy the next 30 hours. If you see/hear of any flooding in your area, make sure to avoid those areas on Friday. Remember Turn Around Don’t Drown, and be safe!!!
Flooding was the #1 weather killer in the US in 2016, and the #2 weather killer in the US on average over the past 30 years.