Heavy Rainstorms and Thunderstorms Move Through Southern Ohio

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Rain showers and thunderstorms moved through our region on Thursday, producing hail and tornadoes across portions of southern Ohio. A total of 6 tornadoes have been confirmed in Ohio, three of which came from the same thunderstorm. 

One thunderstorm produced an EF2 tornado which moved through the town of New Athens, OH in Harrison County at around . The tornado touched down just west of New Athens, OH near Campbell Run and Webb Road. Damage was initially confined to trees, several of which were uprooted. The tornado then continued into the town of New Athens, OH. According to the NWS Survey, roof damage was visible on houses on both side of Main Street. One house lost several sections of it’s roof, and pieces of it were found almost 1.5 miles away. A shed was also demolished, as was power pole which was snapped off at it’s base. Several trees around New Athens were also snapped and some uprooted. The tornado then lifted east of the town near Ross Run. In total, the tornado traveled roughly 2.7 miles. Using damage indicators, the estimated winds of this tornado were between 115 and 120 mph, making it an EF2 tornado.

The most active thunderstorm originated out of Stark County, OH. It quickly intensified and acquired low level rotation as it moved into Carroll County. The first tornado it produced was an EF2 east of Carrollton, OH at around 5:00 PM EDT. The tornado tracked southeastwards for 6.1 miles before dissipating near Bay Road. The estimated winds of this tornado are at 120 mph during peak intensity. Shortly thereafter, this thunderstorm produced an EF1 tornado with with estimated winds of 105 mph. This tornado tracked into Jefferson County and the damage from this tornado was “exclusively from trees,” according to the NWS report. Afterwards, this thunderstorm would then produce a third tornado in Jefferson County at 5:45 PM EDT. This tornado was on the ground for roughly 2.2 miles with estimated wind speeds upwards of 95 mph.  These four tornadoes fell under the jurisdiction of the National Weather Service office in Pittsburgh, PA.

Yet another storm, developed from a weakening thunderstorm just north of Zanesville, OH. This thunderstorm would traverse through southeastern Muskingum County, gradually gaining intensity in the process. Mid-level rotation was observed on radar, which is common with these types thunderstorms. This thunderstorm produced hail upwards of 1.5 inches in Caldwell, OH. The rotation within the storm managed to reach the lower levels for a brief period, and it was in Macksburg that a brief EF0 tornado was produced at 5:15 PM EDT. The tornado lifted a minute later, after traveling 450 feet. No injuries were reported. This tornado fell under the jurisdiction of the National Weather Service office in Charleston, WV.

A fourth thunderstorm further the southwest in Pickaway County produced an EF0 tornado. The tornado touched down at around 5:20 PM EDT near Dick Road next to a farm. The tornado crossed the road and moved over the farm, causing minor damage to a single story residence, and destroying a large outbuilding. The tornado then moved towards Mouser Road where it destroyed two barns. The tornado then lifted before it reached US-22 at approximately 5:22 PM EDT. This tornado fell under the jurisdiction of the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, OH.

Tornadoes are rated on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale into six categories from 0 to 5. Damage is used to estimate the speeds of the winds, with EF0 being the weakest, and EF5 being the strongest. 

The Enhanced Fujita Scale

EF0: 65 – 85 MPHEF1: 86 – 110 MPHEF2: 111 – 135 MPHEF3: 136 – 165 MPHEF4: 166 – 200 MPHEF5: greater than 200 MPH

In addition to the 6 tornadoes, several non-tornadic wind damage reports were also received by the NWS offices. Like most supercell thunderstorms, many of them produced hail across southeastern Ohio. The largest hail report in Ohio on Thursday was in Jamestown, OH (Greene County) where hail up to 1.75 inches in diameter was reported.

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