Weather-wise | Making daily sense of our August weather in northeast Ohio
Every weekday, we give you an in-depth look at the weather conditions that affect northern Ohio.
Weather-wise | Making daily sense of our August weather in northeast Ohio
Photo: WKYC
Author: Frank Macek
Published: 6:32 PM EDT August 1, 2019
Updated: 6:12 PM EDT August 16, 2019
WEATHER 12 Articles

CLEVELAND — Welcome to our August northeast Ohio weather blog that will give you a look at our weather highlights every weekday evening and is written by WKYC Weather Content Producer Frank Macek. Please email your weather related questions to fmacek@wkyc.com.

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Weather-wise | Making daily sense of our August weather in northeast Ohio

WEATHER
Chapter 1

August 16, 2019

Today's Update

Friday Evening Weather Update:

Is it really the weekend again? Get ready for a brief return to the 90s across northern Ohio by Sunday.

On this afternoon's weather map, weak low pressure along the south shore of Lake Erie is dissipating as if drifts off to the northeast. Another weak area of low pressure will track across the central and eastern Great Lakes tonight into Saturday.

We could see a few scattered showers and thunderstorms after midnight and into early Saturday morning. After heating will kick off more pop up storms Saturday afternoon, but should be widely scattered.

A warm front should lift north of the lake Saturday night, allowing high pressure to ridge into Ohio from the southeastern United States by Sunday evening according to the National Weather Service.

Another chance of showers and thunderstorms area possible on Sunday as temperatures rises, but it's just summer in northeast Ohio!

Downtown Cleveland on August 16, 2019
EarthCam

Here's a look at your weekend forecast from the Channel 3 Weather team...

SATURDAY | Mostly sunny and noticeably warmer. Spotty storm possible. | Upper 80s

SUNDAY | Partly cloudy. Hot and humid. Isolated t'storms. | Near 90

Boating/Swimming Conditions for the Weekend:

If you plan on being out on Lake Erie, the National Weather Service says beware of chances of showers and thunderstorms popping both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Wind and waves are always higher in and around thunderstorms.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is reporting conditions as "good" at both Edgewater Beach and Villa Angela Beach on Friday and that trend should continue into the weekend for those heading to those beaches.

No advisories for algal blooms have been issued for the Cleveland area. Most of the toxic algae remains well to the west, mainly in the western basin of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. More on that below.

Before you head to the beach, go to https://www.neorsd.org/beaches-and-water-quality/  for the latest water quality updates at the beaches.

Here are the current lake water temperatures on Friday, August 16, 2019:

Lake Erie Water Temperatures on August 16, 2019
Lake Erie Water Temperatures on August 16, 2019
NWS

Lake Erie Algae Bloom:

NASA released a new image of the Lake Erie algae bloom in Lake Erie from the MODIS satellite on Friday showing what the bloom looks like from space. 

Lake Erie algae
NASA

WKYC Meteorologist Matt Wintz is here to help us better understand the bloom and how it compares to years past.

White Rainbows:

Have you ever seen a white rainbow?

White rainbows, aka fog bows, are similar to colorful rainbows except for one minor thing that makes a big impact on its appearance. Our partners are Amaze Lab explain:

Weather Education Days This Weekend:

Don't forget this weekend (August 17th and 18th), we bring you Weather Education Weekend with our friends at the Great Lakes Science Center at 601 Erieside Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

It's your chance to bring the whole family to learn more what goes into the seasons and what affects the different weather patterns we experience. This fun demonstration uses “cool” chemicals and fire to explore clouds, precipitation and wild weather and you get to meet Betsy Kling, Matt Wintz and Michael Estime from the Channel 3 Weather Team on Saturday.

Here's a schedule of this weekend's events.

Sunday, August 17, 2019

WKYC Weather Talk
Noon
Meet WKYC Meteorologist Michael Estime and learn about weather in Northeast Ohio as he takes you on a virtual tour behind the scenes of the WKYC weather studio. This presentation can also count toward the requirements for the Scouts BSA Weather Merit Badge.

Meet the Meteorologists (Saturday August, 17 only)
Noon to 3 p.m.
Meet the weather team from WKYC.

The Power of Innovation….INNOVIM hands-on activities
Noon to 3 p.m.
Meet the professionals working to make our lives better through innovation and engineering. Learn about the amazing work being done in Cleveland and beyond that helps predict weather and transform environmental and scientific data.

Wild Weather Big Science Show
1:15 p.m.
We take weather education to the next level in this high-energy demonstration. Watch in wonder as WKYC and GLSC combine to talk about weather in an explosively fun way!

WKYC Weather Talk  (Saturday August 17 only)
2 p.m.
Meet WKYC Meteorologist Matt Wintz and learn more about mapping, what a meteorologist does, and how weather forecasting works. This presentation can also count toward the requirements for the Scouts BSA Weather Merit Badge.

Tornado Alley movie in the DOME Theater
Revisit this giant screen classic documentary that follows a team of storm chasers. Limited Weather Weekend engagement (separate ticket required, combo museum and movie tickets available at the box office

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Power of Innovation….INNOVIM hands-on activities
1-4 p.m.
Meet the professionals working to make our lives better through innovation and engineering. Learn about the amazing work being done in Cleveland and beyond that helps predict weather and transform environmental and scientific data.

Green Screen Meteorology
1-4 p.m.
Learn how Chroma keying and green screen technology make weather education possible. Pose as a meteorologist and try your hand at predicting the weather!

What’s in Your Water? Sponsored by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD)
1-4 p.m.
Get hands-on with water as we explore what’s in your water and what you can do to protect our environment.

Tornado Alley movie in the DOME Theater
Revisit this giant screen classic documentary that follows a team of storm chasers. Limited Weather Weekend engagement (separate ticket required, combo museum and movie tickets available at the box officeTornado Alley movie in the DOME Theater

For more information: (216) 694-2000.

Have a great weekend!

Chapter 2

August 15, 2019

Today's Update

Thursday Evening Weather Update:

A lake breeze set up a round of showers and thunderstorms across northern Ohio about 2:30 p.m. with a number of severe thunderstorms warnings issued including Cuyahoga, Medina, Geauga, Lake, Summit and Trumbull Counties.

Radar indicated high winds and some rotation in a number of the storms as the wind direction was from the northeast to the north of the lake breeze (which acts like a warm front) and from the southwest just south of the lake breeze.

Ohio satellite image on August 15, 2019
Ohio satellite image on August 15, 2019
NOAA

Channel 3 CSU Cam weather time-lapse of storms as they rolled through downtown Cleveland earlier this afternoon.

Through 8:30 pm, no major reports of severe weather have been received from storms earlier today in northeast Ohio, although there was some light storm damage in Ottawa County in northwest Ohio near Rocky Ridge around 2:30 p.m.

Cleveland Radar is again working:

The Cleveland NEXRAD Radar is back up after being down for repairs since yesterday. The National Weather Service says the system is now outputting good data again.

So what happens when the Cleveland radar goes down at Hopkins?

We actually have two options:

First, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operates its own system of "terminal radars" specifically used for the airports they serve. For the Cleveland area, the radar unit is located in Grafton and oversees operations at Hopkins International. 

These radars are placed a distance away from the airport so they can see the conditions over the airport itself as planes prepare for take off and landings.

In contrast, the National Weather Service (NOAA) weather radars are normally located on airport grounds and can not see conditions because of the "cone of silence" beneath the radar beam that extends to "a two nautical mile radius around the radar and one nautical mile from the radar," according to Kirk Lombardy, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Cleveland.

The second option was well thought out when the National Weather Service doppler radar system was first developed in 1988 as the WSR-88D (Weather Surveillance Radar). Most all of the doppler radar units today overlap to some degree across the nation. 

Locally, the Detroit radar and Pittsburgh radar cover parts of the Cleveland area, so our forecasters can call up those radars and see storms that may be approaching northern Ohio.

If you would like to learn more about how radar units work, please refer to the material below courtesy of the National Weather Service in Milwaukee.

The Full Moon of August:

Welcome to the Full Sturgeon Moon of  August which occurred this morning at 8:31 a.m. EDT. If skies clear tonight, the moon will still look full across northern Ohio.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, this month's full moon is called the Sturgeon Moon "because Native Americans knew that the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon."

However, others have named the August moon based on farming such as the "Full Green Corn Moon," "Wheat Cut Moon," "Moon When All Things Ripen" and the "Blueberry Moon."

Full Moon_1533013357135.jpg-432346027.jpg
Full moon.
Getty

Don't forget you can always get the phases of the moon on wkyc.com at our Channel 3 Weather Earth & Space page: https://www.wkyc.com/space-science 

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Update:

The Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom continues in the western basin of Lake Erie. Satellite imagery from August 14th shows the bloom extending from Maumee Bay north along the Michigan coast to Brest Bay, east along the Ohio coast to the Marblehead Peninsula; and offshore to the Bass Islands and Point Pelee. 

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Update for August 14, 2019
Lake Erie Algae Bloom Update for August 14, 2019
NOAA

Measured toxin concentrations have decreased since last week, but may continue to exceed the recreational threshold where the bloom is most dense (appearing green from a boat). 

Keep pets and yourself out of the water in areas where scum is forming. The persistent cyanobacteria bloom in Sandusky Bay continues. 

RELATED: Toxic algae poses death risk for your pets

RELATED: Blue-green algae: What it is and how to spot it

RELATED: Couple shares warning on toxic algae after dog dies less than an hour after visit to lake

No other blooms are present in Lake Erie.

Chapter 3

August 14, 2019

Today's Update

Wednesday Evening Weather Update:

A nearly stationary front across Central Ohio will stay with us for the rest of today and tonight. Thursday will see a high pressure system build in before low pressure returns for Friday.

On Thursday, some strong to severe thunderstorms are possible with the instability across northern Ohio. It's what we call a little "weather rollercoaster" ride.

Earlier today, some areas saw some patchy dense fog but that burned off quickly after sunrise.

Channel 3 CSU Cam on August 14, 2019
Channel 3 CSU Cam on August 14, 2019
WKYC

Some showers did develop across our eastern area with the heating of the day and with instability of the stationary front. Some good downpours affected mainly Geauga, Portage and Trumbull Counties where up to a half inch of rain has been estimated by radar.

Scattered rain showers will be miss or hit the rest of this afternoon and evening.

Here's your short term forecast from the Channel 3 Weather Team:

THURSDAY | Partly cloudy with a shower possible. | Upper 70s/80°

FRIDAY | Shower and storm chances. | Around 80°

Severe Weather Threat for Thursday:

The National Storms Prediction Center has placed northern Ohio under a marginal risk for strong to severe storms on Thursday. Stay up on the latest forecast from your Channel 3 Weather Team.

Severe weather outlook for August 15, 2019
Severe weather outlook for August 15, 2019
NOAA

Now for some weather fun!

Viewer Questions
Postman bringing us viewer questions
Getty Images

3 Viewer Questions:

Every Wednesday on the blog, we answer some of your weather related questions. You can ask your questions on the WKYC Weather Warriors Facebook page, on Twitter @wkycweather or email me: fmacek@wkyc.com

Question #1: We've hardly seen any hurricanes in the Atlantic this summer. Isn't it already the peak of the hurricane season?

Yeah it sure has been quiet this season - so far... but things will be firing up over the next few weeks. Forecasters say El Nino has pretty much disappeared in the Pacific Ocean that helps keep Atlantic systems at bay. So we are expecting an increase in activity during the last few weeks of August.

The actual peak of the hurricane season comes in September, usually right around Labor Day though September 12th. Although tropical systems can happen practically anytime of the year. The typical Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. The Pacific hurricane season is a little longer and runs from May 15th to November 30th.

The graph below shows the total number of tropical systems in the Atlantic from 1851 to 2018 showing the peak time of the season in September.

Total number of Tropical Cyclones by Month
Total number of Tropical Cyclones by Month (1851-2018)
NOAA

Question #2: Is northeast Ohio still running wetter than normal for the year?

Yes! The Cleveland area is 5.28 inches above normal. As you can guess, most of that surplus came in June.

We put together a summary for Cleveland, Akron/Canton and Mansfield comparing where are so far this year up to Tuesday, August 13th. The most important number is the bottom one. That is how far away from normal we are and all locations are above normal. 

Rain Gauge through August 13, 2019
Rain Gauge through August 13, 2019
WKYC

The wettest year ever in Cleveland was in 2011 when 65.32 inches of precipitation (rain and melted snow) fell. While we aren't likely to beat that number in 2019, we could break the top 10 this year. Cleveland would only need another 15.67 inches of precipitation between now and December 31st to enter the top 10 record books.

Question #3: We are getting a rain shower right now, but it isn't showing up up on my weather app.

Because of the massive amounts of data that are captured every time the radar spins around one time to scan the skies, the processing of that information can take anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes to go from the National Weather Service's radar unit to your weather app or other commercial radar service you use.

951408978
Big round Doppler radar tower at a small airport in northern Oklahoma
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Part of the reason for the "delay" is that the newer radar systems do multiple scans at multiple angles. The standard NWS doppler takes about six minutes to complete one scan cycle.

"Live" radar on television newscasts are usually more current, but show only one angle of the scan. If our meteorologists switch to multiple angles, the radar images may also be delayed while the data is fully processed for display.

In some cases, television stations own their own radar unit that can provide faster scans to the viewer, but only do one layer of scanning every rotation.

So yes, a radar shower can pop up at your house and you won't see it for up to 6 minutes. With computers getting faster, the delay time in years to come should greater decrease and one day live radar should be available for all.

Chapter 4

August 13, 2019

Today's Update

Tuesday Evening Weather Update:

Heavy cloud cover rests over northern Ohio this Tuesday evening as part of a low pressure system moving across the area. A weak cold front will drop south tonight with another low forecast to move southeast out of the Great Lakes through northern Ohio by Thursday night.

Satellite image for August 13, 2019
Satellite image for August 13, 2019
NOAA

Bottom line: This will keep our weather a little unsettled for the next 72 hours with on and off clouds, although Wednesday should remain dry with some sun peeking through the clouds.

Here's your short term forecast from the Channel 3 Weather Team:

TONIGHT | Few showers and storms...mainly south. Otherwise variable clouds and muggy. | Mid 60s

WEDNESDAY | Partly sunny. Nice and mild! | Low 80s

Rainfall Totals Today:

We've seen about a quarter inch of rain so far today at major reporting stations across northern Ohio. Toledo Express Airport got 1.39 inches with a heavy band of rain that moved through northwest Ohio earlier.

Here's a quick check at rainfall totals across northern Ohio from midnight until 5 p.m. on Tuesday:

Precipitation for August 13, 2019
Precipitation for August 13, 2019
NWS

Weather Instruments: The Barometer

Let's talk about the barometer and what meteorologists use it for.

A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure the pressure of the air around us. These pressure readings are constantly changing. The rise and fall of air pressure can help us forecast short term changes in the weather as low and high pressures move across the region.

106514155- Barometer
Barometer
Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are two main types of barometers: mercury and aneroid. In the mercury barometer, atmospheric pressure balances a column of mercury, the height of which can be precisely measured. In the aneroid barometer, no liquid is used. Instead, the barometer contains a flexible-walled evacuated capsule that changes with atmospheric pressure and moves a mechanical needle.

By measuring the pressure of the air and plotting the results from stations over a large area, like the whole country, meteorologists can generate a surface weather analysis map that show high and low pressure areas, surface troughs and cold and warm front boundaries.

Pressure is generally measured in terms of "millibars" or "inches" of mercury. High pressure can often exceed 1016 millibars (30.00 inches), while low pressure usually falls into a range for Ohio from 982 millibars (29.00 inches) to under 1016 millibars (30.00 inches).

Isobar map for August 13, 2019
Isobar map for August 13, 2019
NOAA

On most weather maps (like the one above) issued daily by the National Weather Service, the display is in millibars and areas with the same pressure are grouped together in closed circles called isobars on the map.

The lowest pressure Cleveland has ever recorded was during the Blizzard of 1978 when the pressure fell to 958 millibars (28.28 inches) on January 16, 1978. Ironically that was also the lowest pressure ever recorded in the lower 48 states until October 26, 2010 when a storm over Minnesota saw a pressure drop to 955 millibars (28.20 inches).

The highest pressure ever recorded in Cleveland is 1049 millibars (30.97 inches) in February 1934.

If you have a home barometer, the easiest way to forecast your own weather is to remember if the pressure is rising, fair weather is coming. If the pressure is falling, changes are the way. The fall may indicate storms approaching or periods of wet weather. 

Tropics Update:

The Atlantic Ocean continues quiet with no activity expected during the next 48 hours.

For the Pacific Ocean, former Tropical Storm Henriette has faded away into a remnant low. Another area of disturbed weather to the southwest of Henriette has a 40% chance of development over the next 48 hours.

Pacific Tropical Outlook for August 13, 2019
Pacific Tropical Outlook for August 13, 2019
NOAA
Chapter 5

August 12, 2019

Today's Update

Weekend Weather Review:

Hope you had a great weather weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day in northern Ohio, though on Sunday we saw a few more clouds that expected. Some locations even got a little "liquid sunshine" for a brief spell.

Highs for the weekend included...

Cleveland: 79/61 (Sat), 83/59 (Sun)

Akron/Canton: 80/61 (Sat), 83/60 (Sun)

Mansfield: 79/58 (Sat), 85/59 (Sun)

Youngstown: 82/53 (Sat), 82/53 (Sun)

Toledo: 84/59 (Sat), 86/59 (Sun)

Monday Evening Weather Update:

Skies are mostly cloudy across northern Ohio this evening. 

A low pressure system across northern Missouri Monday evening will begin to track eastward tonight. A cold front across lower Michigan will sink southward Tuesday night and will be the trigger for showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be strong. 

Most of the severe weather should remain well to our west and south. I think the best bet for strong thunderstorms would be during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Stay up on the latest forecast.

Downtown Cleveland on August 12, 2019
Downtown Cleveland on August 12, 2019
WKYC

Once the front passes, the area will see some seasonable temperatures. Enjoy, because a sweltering weekend is ahead with a return to temperatures in the 90s possible.

Here's your 24 hour forecast from the Channel 3 Weather Team:

TONIGHT | Mostly cloudy with bubble up showers. Overnight storms possible. | Near 70.

TUESDAY | Showers and storms likely. Otherwise variable clouds and humid. | Low 80s

So far for August...

With the first full 11 days in the books, August is running just slightly warmer than normal for the month with less than normal precipitation. Only two days have seen any rainfall in the Cleveland area (August 6th with .90" and August 7th with .04")

August 2019 as of August 11, 2019
August 2019 as of August 11, 2019
WKYC

Latest Drought Monitor:

After a very wet June and July, parts of Ohio are beginning to dry out. The latest Ohio Drought Monitor issued late last week is starting to show parts of southwest Ohio entering the abnormally dry category (in yellow on the map).

Ohio Drought Monitor for August 6, 2019
Ohio Drought Monitor for August 6, 2019
US Drought Monitor

Tropics Update:

A new tropical storm has developed in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Henriette is barely hanging on to tropical storm status Monday evening with maximum sustained winds of 40 m.p.h.

The storm is about 275 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California and is not expected to be a threat to land anytime soon.

Tropical Storm Henriette on August 12, 2019
Tropical Storm Henriette on August 12, 2019
NOAA

Perseid Meteor Showers:

Monday night/Tuesday morning is the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower. However the forecast isn't looking very good with clouds and an increasingly bright moon across northern Ohio.

However, if you are reading from a place where you have clear skies, enjoy! It's the best meteor shower of the year.

Click to watch and learn more:

RELATED: Moon may obscure peak of Perseid meteor shower this week

Chapter 6

August 9, 2019

Today's Update

Friday Evening Weather Update:

The weekend is finally upon us and what a great weekend it is going to be across northern Ohio. Hopefully, you have plenty of outdoor plans.

The National Weather Service says a trough of low pressure will move southeast across the area tonight. Then high pressure will move into the area and be centered over SW PA Saturday night and become stationary giving us the great looking weekend.

A warm front is still on track to bring unsettled weather to the area on Monday with a cold front passing Monday night.

Downtown Cleveland on August 9, 2019
Downtown Cleveland on August 9, 2019
WKYC

Here's a look at your weekend forecast from the Channel 3 Weather team...

SATURDAY | Mostly sunny and comfortable. | Upper 70s

SUNDAY | Becoming partly cloudy and a bit warmer. | Low 80s

Boating Conditions for the Weekend:

If you plan on being out on  Lake Erie, the National Weather Service says good swimming conditions are expected with large waves and dangerous currents NOT expected along the southern shore of Lake Erie through Sunday afternoon.

However, the water quality may be more of an issue at area beaches like Edgewater Beach and Villa Angela Beach which both had "poor" water quality conditions Friday morning because of potentially harmful bacteria from rains earlier this week.

RELATED: Storms force sewage overflow at Cleveland's Edgewater Beach

Before you head to the beach, go to www.clevelandmetroparks.com/beaches for the latest updates.

Here are the current lake water temperatures:

Lake Erie Water Temperatures on August 9, 2019
Lake Erie Water Temperatures on August 9, 2019
WKYC

The Alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon:

You will have three nights starting this Friday to see Jupiter, Saturn and the moon lined up side-by-side in the night sky.

With Venus currently on the other side of the sun, Jupiter will be the brightest planet in the sky in August, according to EarthSky.org.

If you look south between Friday and Sunday, you'll be able to see the waxing gibbous moon on a nearly straight line between Jupiter and Saturn.

On the 9th, the moon will appear just above and to the left of Jupiter while Saturn is farther to the left. The next night, the moon will have moved to the left and be nearly equidistant between the two planets. On the 11th, the moon will be just to the right of Saturn. 

Click the video to see more:

The Perseid Meteor Shower:

The best meteor shower of the  year is underway and will peak late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, though the forecast is considered only "fair" for viewing because of an increasingly full moon and potential cloud cover across northern Ohio. 

So your better bet is to catch the meteor shower over the weekend while skies are clear across northern Ohio. You can see plenty of meteors tonight, Saturday and Sunday nights. The best viewing time is after midnight.

The Perseids are caused by the Earth passing through the debris trail of the comet Swift–Tuttle. The meteors are called the Perseids because the point from which they appear to hail lies in the constellation Perseus. 

Click the video to learn more:

Here are some tips for viewing from Earth & Sky:

Find a dark, open sky to enjoy the show. An open sky is essential because these meteors fly across the sky in many different directions and in front of numerous constellations.

Give yourself at least an hour of observing time, because the meteors in meteor showers come in spurts and are interspersed with lulls. Remember, your eyes can take as long as 20 minutes to adapt to the darkness of night. So don’t rush the process.

Know that the meteors all come from a single point in the sky. If you trace the paths of the Perseid meteors backwards, you’d find they all come from a point in front of the constellation Perseus. Don’t worry about which stars are Perseus. Just enjoying knowing and observing that they all come from one place on the sky’s dome.

Enjoy the comfort of a reclining lawn chair. Bring along some other things you might enjoy also, like a thermos filled with a hot drink.

Remember … all good things come to those who wait. Meteors are part of nature. There’s no way to predict exactly how many you’ll see on any given night. Find a good spot, watch, wait.

Have a great weekend of meteor viewing!

Chapter 7

August 8, 2019

Today's Update

Thursday Evening Weather Update:

A cold front will be moving off to the south of the area tonight bringing in a delightful Friday and weekend. Next week is looking a little more unsettled as a warm front will lift north over the region on Monday, then become stationary with low pressure moving along the front.

Northern Ohio has been cleared of any chance of severe weather this evening, although our southern counties may see a few strong to severe thunderstorms as the cold front moves across the area.

If you are going to the Browns first preseason game tonight at FirstEnergy Stadium, the weather will be pleasant with temperatures in the 70s. Go Browns!

Downtown Cleveland on August 8, 2019
Downtown Cleveland on August 8, 2019
WKYC

Here's your 24 hour forecast from the Channel 3 Weather Team:

TONIGHT | Mostly clear and noticeably cooler and more comfortable. | Low 60s

FRIDAY | Partly to mostly sunny and noticeably less humid. | Upper 70s

Norwalk Tornado Update:

The National Weather Service says the distance of the Norwalk tornado on Tuesday has been increased to 3.1 miles, up from 1.5 miles after further surveying.

Norwalk Tornado Update on August 8, 2019
Norwalk Tornado Update on August 8, 2019
NWS

Above Average Hurricane Season Predicted:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its updated 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season forecast today. Despite a quiet season so far, NOAA now predicts "10 to 17 named storms with five to nine potentially become hurricanes."

The original forecast called for nine to 15 named storms with four to eight becoming hurricanes.

So far this season, we have only had two named storms (Subtropical Storm Andrea and Hurricane Barry) and one tropical depression:

2019 Atlantic Storms
2019 Atlantic Storms
WKYC

READ MORE: NOAA increases likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

Algae Bloom Update:

The current algae bloom coverage area as of readings taken August 7th show the bloom continues in the western basis of Lake Erie from roughly Maumee Bay north along the Michigan coast to Brest Bay, east along the Ohio coast to the Portage River and up to 13 miles northeast of West Sister Island near the Ontario coast.

The rest of Lake Erie remains bloom free with the exception of Sandusky Bay that shows a persistent bloom that has last much of this season.

This trend is expected to continue over the next week according to NOAA.

Gray areas of the map below indicate missing data.

Algae Bloom Update on August 8, 2019
Algae Bloom Update on August 8, 2019
NOAA
Chapter 8

August 7, 2019

Today's Update

Wednesday Evening Weather Update:

A weak cold front is cutting the state in two this afternoon with showers and thunderstorms that continue to drift off to the east. Temperatures range from the lower 80s west and upper 70s.

A number of waterspouts were reported across the lakeshore today, but all of them stayed out over Lake Erie.

RELATED: Multiple waterspouts popping up all over Lake Erie

Here's a quick check at your 24 hour forecast for the Cleveland area:

TONIGHT | Partly cloudy with areas of fog. Muggy. | Mid 60s

THURSDAY | Scattered rain and thunderstorms. Humid. | Low 80s

Downtown Cleveland on August 7, 2019
Downtown Cleveland on August 7, 2019
WKYC

We'll see another cold front move across the area on Thursday. This one will have a bigger weather punch.

The Severe Storms Prediction Center has put all of Ohio under a marginal or slight risk for severe weather on Thursday. Strong to severe thunderstorms capable of isolated large hail and damaging winds gusts will be possible during the afternoon and evening hours of Thursday. 

Severe weather outlook for August 8, 2019
Severe weather outlook for August 8, 2019
NOAA

EF1 Tornado Confirmed from Tuesday:

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Huron County late Tuesday afternoon as storms made their way through Northeast Ohio.

The twister is said to have been an EF1, with winds peaking at 100 miles per hour. It began around 5:20 p.m. just south of Norwalk near U.S. Route 20 before ending near Veterans Memorial Lake Park.

Officials say no one was hurt, although multiple large trees did suffer damage. Much of the region was under a severe thunderstorm warning for points yesterday, but this is the first report of a tornado. 

What is the Enhanced Fujita Scale?

The Enhanced Fujita scale (EF-Scale) rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States based on the damage they cause. Implemented in place of the Fujita scale introduced in 1971 by Tetsuya Theodore Fujita, it began operational use in the United States on February 1, 2007.

Once a tornado touchdown is suspected, the National Weather Service will send a survey team to perform a visual inspection of the location for the type of damage seen.

Based on the damage, the team will then assign a rating of the estimated winds. This is the number we then forward on to you when we talk about the EF category in our reports.

Here's a look at each category:

Enhanced Fujita Winds Scale
Enhanced Fujita Winds Scale
WKYC
Enhanced Fujita Damage Scale
Enhanced Fujita Damage Scale
WKYC

An EF0 tornado causes minimal damage, while an EF5 can destroy everything in its path.

So far for 2019, Ohio has seen 58 tornadoes through August 4th according to the National Storm Prediction Center. These numbers are considered preliminary until a final end of the year report is issued.

One fatality has been reported so far this year. That occurred near Celina in Mercer County, Ohio, from the tornado outbreak on May 27th.

Chapter 9

August 6, 2019

Today's Update

Tuesday Evening Weather Update:

Showers and thunderstorms rolled through northern Ohio this afternoon bringing high winds, frequent lightning and heavy rains to much of the area. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for a number of counties through the early evening hours. 

Several trees were reported down in Courthouse Square in downtown Warren in Trumbull County. Storm spotters reported .88" of rain in Streetsboro with some localized street flooding. A heathly 8" tree was broken near SR 250 and RT 18 in Norwalk between 2:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. while another tree was reported down on Woodlawn in Norwalk. Some additional tree damage was reported just east of Norwalk with another line of storms at 5:40 p.m.

Several thousand FirstEnergy customers have reported power outages. As of 4:30 p.m. the number stood at 4,226.

We could see another round of storms this evening. Another large area of showers and thunderstorms was located around Bowling Green, Ohio, moving to the east. On that track, the storms would reach the Cleveland area in the next 2-4 hours.

Viewer Questions:

Question #1: What's the different between hurricanes and typhoons?

They are the exact same thing except for location, location, location. Our TEGNA sister meteorologist Tim Pandajis explains: 

Question #2: What's the hottest temperature northern Ohio has seen during the month of August?

You have to go back into the record books to 1948 to answer the one. In fact, August 27, 1948, when the reading hit 102 degrees at Hopkins Airport. That was just two degrees of the high time record high of 104 degrees set on June 25, 1988.

Question #3: We heard Channel 3 Meteorologist Matt Wintz talk about Urban Heat Islands that keeps cities warmer than suburbs. Is that true?

Absolutely! Cities can be as much as 10 degrees warmer than surrounding areas thanks to the urban heat island effect. This effect is caused mostly by the lack of vegetation and soil moisture, which would normally use the absorbed sunlight to evaporate water as part of photosynthesis.

Cleveland skyline
Cleveland skyline

The sunlight is absorbed by things like buildings, roads, parking lots and buildings. With little, if any to evaporate, the sunlight's energy all goes into raising the temperature of those surfaces and the air in contact with them. 

As the day progresses, a dome of warm air forms over the city as convection transports heat from the surface to higher in the atmosphere.

After the sun sets, temperatures remain elevated above the vegetated areas around the city or town, and so the heat island effect persists during the night as well.  

Don't forget, if you have a weather related question, email to fmacek@wkyc.com

Chapter 10

August 5, 2019

Today's Update

Weekend in Review:

The weekend turned out pretty much on par with our forecast. Some areas, especially south and west of Cleveland received a few showers from scattered thunderstorms that developed, but much of the area remained dry.

Highs for the weekend included...

Cleveland: 84/61 (Sat), 88/62 (Sun)

Akron/Canton: 85/64 (Sat), 87/61 (Sun)

Mansfield: 83/60 (Sat), 86/60 (Sun)

Youngstown: 84/59 (Sat), 85/58 (Sun)

Monday Evening Weather Update:

Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms are roaming northern Ohio this afternoon. There is a chance for locally heavy, but short-lasting downpours with the afternoon heating of the day.

Radar image on August 5, 2019
Current radar image on August 5, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
WKYC

An expected lake breeze will kick off additional showers and thunderstorms over the next few hours. A stronger cold front will make its way across Ohio by Thursday, with a return to sunshine by the weekend along with cooler temperatures.

Here's the short term forecast:

TONIGHT | Partly cloudy with early isolated t'storms. | Around 70.

TUESDAY | Partly cloudy with storm chances later in the day. | Mid/upper 80s

Tuesday Severe Weather Outlook:

The National Severe Storms Prediction Center has all of Ohio under a marginal risk of some severe thunderstorms on Tuesday. The biggest threats will be gusty winds, torrential rains and hail. Be sure to stay up on the latest forecast on Tuesday with the Channel 3 Weather team.

Severe weather outlook for August 6, 2019
Severe weather outlook for August 6, 2019
NOAA

Types of Clouds: The Cumulonimbus

One of the most common summer time types of clouds we see around northern Ohio are the cumulonimbus. Simply stated, they are the towering clouds that bring us afternoon showers and thunderstorms as you see today.

The clouds are convective in nature, meaning that are caused by updrafts and downdrafts as warm rises and cold air falls and heat is transferred from place to place within the cloud or cloud complex.

Over time, this rising and falling of the air creates a circulation effect that helps the clouds grow and become higher and higher in the atmosphere until precipitation begins to fall.

Cumulonimbus Cloud
A cumulonimbus cloud forms south of downtown Cleveland on August 5, 2019
WKYC

Once the air rises so high, the water vapor cools enough to freeze and begins to fall back to earth in the form of rain or hail. Lightning is caused by the strong up and down currents of air as the water droplets, hail and ice crystals collide with one another.

Eventually these collisions build up enough energy to be discharged in the form of the lightning you see. The thunder is simply the "noise" made from this discharge.

A cumulonimbus cloud can grow more than eleven miles high into the sky. The top of the cloud sometimes gets blown by strong winds and has a flat top, like a table. That flat top is called an anvil, because it looks like the flat metal block called an anvil that's used to hammer metal. 

Higher thunderstorms are also capable of producing tornadoes. Usually these towering monsters reach heights of 50,000 to 60,000 feet. The best time of the year to see this type of severe weather is April through June in northern Ohio, although tornadoes can occur during much of the year, given the right atmospheric conditions.

So, take a few minutes this evening and look around the sky to see if you can spot any cumulonimbus clouds.

Monday Tropics Update: 

Tropical Depression Erick is now well west of the Hawaiian Islands with maximum winds to 30 mph and gusts to 40 mph.

Tropical Depression Flossie has maximum winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph and is just east of Hilo, Hawaii. Flossie is expected to pass just to the north of the Hawaiian Islands over the next 48 hours with large swells possible along the northern shores of the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Oahu.

Tropical Depression Gil has formed well west of Mexico and is no threat to land.

Otherwise, the Atlantic Ocean is pretty quiet with no organized systems expected during the next 48 hours.

Tropics Update on August 5, 2019
Tropics Update on August 5, 2019
NOAA
Chapter 11

August 2, 2019

Today's Update

Friday Evening Weather Update:

Looks like it's going to be a great night for baseball in downtown Cleveland as the Indians play the Angels at Progressive Field at 7:10 p.m. By the way, you can catch the game on Channel 3 beginning at 7 p.m.

Expect mainly clear skies and temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s during the game.

Progressive Field on August 2, 2019
Progressive Field on August 2, 2019
WKYC

The Weekend Outlook:

High pressure will continue to be in control of our weather through the weekend with mostly sunny skies expected both Saturday and Sunday. Our next significant chance of rain won't happen until Wednesday. 

SATURDAY | Sunny and a bit warmer. | Mid 80s

SUNDAY | Mostly sunny with passing clouds. | Low 80s

UV index levels will be around a 7 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. So use plenty of sunscreen if you plan to be outdoors.

Tropics Updates:

Let's take a quick look the Tropics on this Friday evening as we still have a couple of systems to talk about.

First, the Pacific. 

Tropical Storm Erick is currently located 310 miles south of Honolulu, Hawaii, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm continues to weaken and will likely be a depression by Monday well west of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Dangerous surf and heavy rains have been reported on the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday as the storm passes by to the south.

Tropical Storm Erick
Projected path of Tropical Storm Erick on August 2, 2019
NOAA

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Flossie is a little stronger with maximum sustained winds of near 70 mph. The storm is about 1145 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, and is moving to the west, northwest at 17 mph.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to remain a strong tropical storm through Wednesday and will bring high surf to the northern coastal areas of the islands, but otherwise is expected to remain over open waters.

Tropical Storm Flossie
Projected path of Tropical Storm Flossie on August 2, 2019
NOAA

Finally, we look to the Atlantic where an broad area of low pressure was located over the central Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles southeast of the Lesser Antilles. 

Tropical Wave on August 2, 2019
Tropical Wave on August 2, 2019
NOAA

The earliest we would see favorable conditions for development will be Tuesday and Wednesday. Our weather partners at AccuWeather have the latest forecast thinking in the video below:

Have a great weekend. We'll catch you back on Monday on the Channel 3 Weather Blog. 

Chapter 12

August 1, 2019

Today's Update

Thursday Evening Weather Update:

High pressure remains in firm control over the weather in northeast Ohio on Thursday with a northwest flow to the air keeping temperatures mild for this time of year.

As of August 1st, our typical daytime high in Cleveland is 82 degrees with normal low of 64 degrees. Today, we are right at normal.

Here's a quick check of our 24 hour forecast from the Channel 3 Weather Team:

TONIGHT|  Clear and seasonable.  |  Mid 60s

FRIDAY | Sunny. | Low 80s

Channel 3 CSU Cam on August 1, 2019
Channel 3 CSU Cam on August 1, 2019
WKYC

July in the Books:

As we turn the page to August, let's take a look back at the month of July 2019. The month ended with an average daily temperature of 77.2 degrees that puts us at the 5th warmest July on record. Only July 1955, 2019, 1949 and 2011 were warmer in Cleveland.

Top 5 Warmest months of July
Top 5 Warmest months of July
WKYC

Precipitation was on the light side for Cleveland, especially compared to June when we received nearly twice our normal rainfall. In July, we measured 2.62" of rain, or .84 inches less than normal. 

Most of the heavy rain during the month was concentrated to the south of Cleveland. Akron/Canton had 7.11" of rain, compared to the normal of 3.03" of rain thanks to several days of deluges that caused flooding in numerous locations.

Mansfield also saw much more rain than normal. The Richland County area got 7.20" of rain for July or 2.82" more than is normally expected.

Check out the graphics below to see comparisons for the major reporting locations across northern Ohio for July 2019...

July 2019 temperatures compared to normal
July 2019 temperatures compared to normal
NOAA
July 2019 precipitation compared to normal
July 2019 precipitation compared to normal
NOAA

Space Station Viewing Opportunity: 

Once again tonight, the International Space Station will fly over Ohio at 11:03 p.m. Skies should be optimal for seeing the station that will be around 220 miles above us and moving at 17,500 miles per hour across the night sky.

Look for a bright moving object that will rise about halfway up the sky coming out of the northwest.

Click the related story for more information: Space station visible over Northeast Ohio Thursday night

earth_clouds_626787550_1527111302717
Planet earth at sunrise, seen from the space. (Photo: Thinkstock/Getty Images)
Nastco

Check back again tomorrow for our daily updates through the month of August.

Enhanced Fujita Winds Scale
Enhanced Fujita Winds Scale
WKYC