(WJW) — Northeast Ohio saw historic rainfall with two separate large clusters of rain and storms over Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to Meteorologist Scott Sabol.
Most of northern Ohio was under a severe thunderstorm warning at some point between Aug. 23 and early Aug. 25.
In total, there were five tornado warnings, four confirmed by the NWS Friday, in NE Ohio from Thursday night into Friday morning. Three of those warnings were later confirmed as EF-1 tornadoes in Cleveland and Mentor, and in Sandusky and Ottawa counties. A fourth was confirmed to be an EF-0 tornado in Trumbull County.
For more information on the tornadoes in NE Ohio, click here.
As a result of the storms, 17 school districts closed due to damage and power outages.
According to Meteorologist Dontae Jones, Thursday night into Friday, NE Ohio’s highest wind gust reported by a weather station was 75 mph at Burke Lakefront Airport. 74 mph is the minimum wind gust of a hurricane.
80 mph was observed in Kent by a trained weather spotter.
According to Jones, the last tornado that the City of Cleveland had was back in 1992.
We also had 13 severe t-storm warnings last night.
What factors led to this severe weather?
According to Sabol, a huge ridge of heat in the central U.S. has been a fixture for at least a week. Disturbances rode up and over the ridge, down through the Great Lakes.
This, paired with high humidity and dewpoints above 75, makes the recipe for heavy rainfall.
These storms were also focused along a series of fronts, Sabol said.
Sabol also said that, although severe, the last few days of rainfall still was not the worst in Northeast Ohio history. The historic derecho in 1969 on the Fourth of July produced even more rainfall, which can be seen in the graphic above.