FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Meteorologists throughout the South and Midwest areas of the United States are sounding the alarm regarding a storm system moving through the country and its potential to develop tornados just days after a similar storm caused 59 tornados leading to the death of at least 32 people nationwide and at least 6 people locally.

However, here in the Wabash Valley, a warm layer of air high in the atmosphere may make it difficult for severe thunderstorms to develop and shield the viewing area from the worst of the storms.

That’s according to WTWO Chief Meteorologist Jesse Walker, who called the layer of warm air a “cap.”

“There is a warm layer of air above our area, we call it a cap. As the air rises it hits that cap and then comes back down,” Walker said. “We believe this cap may protect us on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening, and keep this area relatively calm as far as big-time storms and things like that.”

Walker stressed that as always with the weather, things can change from a forecast prediction.

“It’s not a guarantee, it’s a forecast, and we believe that’s going to hold true,” Walker said.

This system presents a big risk for severe weather, but almost all of that will remain west of our viewing area. While the cap should keep the most severe effects of storms from hitting the area, there are still some risk levels to be paid attention to related to the coming storms.

Wind Risk

WTWO Meteorologist Julie Henricks detailed the potential for winds to kick up as the system moves through the area during her Tuesday morning forecast, saying wind will be a factor for the entire viewing area.

“Tuesday afternoon could see wind gusts up to 30 mph, with winds increasing overnight to produce gusts of up to 45 mph,” Henricks said.

Walker said wind seems to be our biggest potential threat as far as percentages are concerned, with most of the area showing a 15% chance of wind risk.

Looking further into the week on Wednesday, Walker said when it comes to severe risk the viewing area does fall into one of the “hatched” areas of the map.

“Does that mean tornado, hail, or wind? It’s a little early to say, but would most likely be wind,” Walker said.

Hail Risk

When looking at the potential for damaging hail to fall across the area, Walker said while there is potential for it, the viewing area is currently at the lowest possible threat level at just 5%.

Walker noted the “hatched” area, which denotes a more significant chance of severe weather, but said that area remains west of the viewing area, mostly in western Illinois and Iowa.

Tornado Risk

Of course, the weather effect that most residents are worried about after Friday’s storms is the potential for the development of tornadoes.

Walker said when it comes to tornado risk, this system looks much different than Friday’s from a local perspective, with the majority of the area in the lowest level of risk at just 2%.

“Friday we were in the hatched area, this time that area remains west of the us,” Walker said.


Walker closed his Facebook Live video with these thoughts:

Chances of severe weather Tuesday remain low for our area, higher chances will be late Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon.

While we can still expect rain and some storms, the severity shouldn’t be like Friday’s storms if the cap holds above the area.

Tuesday morning, Julie Henricks added that Wednesday should see two rounds of storms coming through with the first being in the morning before a break as a second round will hit the area in the early afternoon.

And following this round of storms, Henricks said temperatures will drop briefly before rising for a pleasant, spring-like weekend with Easter Sunday expected to see a high of 70 degrees.