Tracking Severe Weather moving into central Ohio Thursday

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Updated: .

The NOAA NWS Storm Prediction Center placed central Ohio under a slight risk for strong to severe storms Thursday.

A cold front will move through later tonight and out ahead of it things will turn unstable. We'll see the chance for showers and storms with some of those becoming strong after about 6 p.m.

If we can keep some clouds around, we won't destabilize as rapidly but with temperatures on their way up into the 80s and rising dew points, we still have that threat from the mid-afternoon to evening time frame.

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Right now, the main threats are strong damaging winds and large hail. But, as always, when a line of storms moves through we can't rule out an isolated spin-up tornado. IF we see anything along that front they tend to be weaker and short-lived.

The best chance for the strongest weather will be near the Ohio, Indiana and Michigan border but some stronger storms still have the potential to spill into our area.

I'll be watching the situation throughout the day and will be tracking the threat tonight on 10TV News.

- Jeff Booth

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SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY GUIDE

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WATCHES & WARNINGS

Watch
A Watch indicates the possibility of severe weather in a relatively broad area. For instance, a tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. Go about your normal routines, but watch for threatening weather.

Warning
A Warning is issued when severe weather is actually occurring. For instance, a tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted or has been indicated by radar. The warning usually encompasses a relatively small geographic area. If a warning is issued for the area in which you live, take cover immediately!

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TORNADOES AREN'T THE ONLY REASON TO STAY ALERT

Strong Winds
Strong winds of 55 mph or more can cause significant damage even though no tornado is present. "Downbursts" are columns of air that slam to the earth and spread high winds in many directions. Downbursts can be just as damaging as tornadoes; if such conditions are present, take the same precautions as you would for a tornado.

Lightning
Lightning claims more lives every year than tornadoes. When lightning is a threat, stay indoors and don't use electrical appliances. If you're caught outside, keep a safe distance from tall objects, and try to stay lower than anything nearby. A safe distance from a tree is twice its height.

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TAKING COVER

Storms producing tornadoes in Ohio often approach from the southwest. They can travel at speeds up to 70 miles per hour and contain winds estimated at over 200 miles per hour.

Sometimes an approaching tornado will sound like the roar of a train or airplane. If you see or hear a tornado, take cover immediately. Seek shelter inside, preferably below ground level. Do not waste time opening windows; tornado-force winds will "open" the windows well before the pressure difference can cause any structural damage. Above all, protect your head and lie flat.

At Home
Get away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the basement. If you have no basement, go to a first floor bathroom, closet or room at the center of the house. If possible, get under heavy furniture and cover your head with blankets or pillows.

At School
Go the lowest floor or basement. Go to small interior rooms or hallways. Stay away from windows and avoid auditoriums, gyms and other areas with wide, free-span roofs.

In Public Buildings
Go immediately to the designated shelter area or to an interior hallway or small room on the lowest level. Stay away from windows. Do not use elevators. Do not go to your car.