Severe weather that prompted tornado warnings for some central Ohio counties exits area (2024)

Severe storms with heavy rain and high winds raced through central Ohio late Wednesday afternoon and evening, but there were no initial reports of injuries or major damage.

The National Weather Service had issued tornado warnings for some central Ohio counties as the storm system moved through, reporting radar-indicated rotation wrapped amid the fast-moving storms. Hail fell in some areas as a result of the storm.

Severe weather that prompted tornado warnings for some central Ohio counties exits area (1)

A tornado watch issued for central Ohio expired at 7 p.m. as the severe weather moved on into east central and northeastern Ohio counties.

Suspected tornado damage reported elsewhere

There were reports of at least one or two suspected tornadoes with damage in Portage County in northeastern Ohio and a suspected tornado in Bucyrus in north central Ohio.

Videos and photos posted to X (formerly Twitter) showed what appeared to be a tornado on the ground and severe damage to a home, barn and another outbuilding in Windham, a village in eastern Portage County. Additional damage was reported from a tornado in Garrettsville in the northeastern part of the county.

In north central Ohio about 65 miles north of Columbus, The Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, a Gannett Ohio sister newspaper to The Dispatch, reported high winds from the storms there had caused serious, significant damage in downtown Bucyrus and knocked out power to a large area there.

The NWS will send out survey teams beginning Thursday to areas where suspected tornadoes were reported to confirm them and rate their intensity on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

Central Ohio appeared to escape any major damage.

Fairfield County Sheriff's Office reported multiple trees or large branches down from the storm, with some blocking side roads but no major arteries.

The Licking County Regional Communications Center reported that strong winds had brought wires down in Fallsbury Township and brought trees down on utility lines in Granville Township.

Delaware County Sheriff's Office said it had no reports of severe damage as of 6:30 p.m. However, Tyler Beckman, a central Ohio storm chaser, posted photos on X (formerly Twitter) showing wind damage to homes and a tree near the intersection of Route 605 and Fancher Road in Harlem Township in the county.

Pickaway County Sheriff's Office reported a downed tree that temporarily blocked one lane of Route 752 in Walnut Township, but it was removed and there were no other storm damage reports.

Franklin County, Union County and Madison County sheriff's offices told The Dispatch they received no storm damage reports.

The heavy rain did cause flooding again on the Route 161 westbound exit underpass to Interstate 270 southbound on Columbus' Northeast Side, forcing closure of the exit ramp for a time.

AEP warned its customers prior to Wednesday's storms that the severe weather may cause power outages and urged customers to be prepared. At one point, the AEP outage map showed more than 8,000 customers without power. As of 6:15 p.m., however, AEP's outage map showed small scattered outages with the largest two areas in Columbus involving nearly 1,500 customers.

Ohio already ahead of average yearly tornado total before storms

Prior to Wednesday, the National Weather Service had reported a total of 28 tornadoes so far this year in Ohio, which is a half-dozen above the yearly average of 22 tornadoes. Nine tornadoes each were recorded on Feb. 28, March 14 and April 2 and one on March 5.

One of the March 14 tornadoes hit the Indian Lake area, killing three people in Lakeview, injuring others and causing devastating damage.

What's the forecast ahead?

After a positively balmy work week, areas of patchy frost will be possible Saturday and Sunday night in Columbus and around central Ohio. Here's the forecast for the rest of the week.

More:Ohio leads the nation for tornadoes in 2024. And the season is just beginning

Weather forecast for the week of April 17, 2024

Keep those raincoats at the ready for the next few days.

  • Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 76. West wind 6 to 8 mph.
  • Thursday Night: A chance of showers before 11 p.m., then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 2 a.m. Low around 58. South wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Friday: Showers and thunderstorms before 11 a.m., with a slight chance of showers between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. High near 64. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 57.
  • Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.
  • Sunday: Patchy frost before 8 a.m. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 57.
  • Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 37.
  • Monday: Sunny, with a high near 63.
  • Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.
  • Tuesday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Here's how to check for AEP, Columbus power outages

American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio offers a live-updatedoutage map on their website.

The AEP website also contains an area where customers canreport outagesand downed power lines. Remain a safe distance from downed power lines if you see them.

Columbus Division of Power customers can also check anoutage mapon the city's website here.

If you see your area on the map, there is no need to report your outage and the Division of Power is actively working on it, according to the website. If you are experiencing an outage not shown on the map, please call them at (614) 645-7627 to report the outage.

Dispatch reporters Bethany Bruner and Cole Behrens contributed to this report.


Severe weather that prompted tornado warnings for some central Ohio counties exits area (2024)


Where was the tornado in Ohio? ›

Two tornadoes touched down in Mercer and Auglaize counties in western Ohio in addition to a third tornado in only Mercer County west of Coldwater. The fourth tornado was confirmed to have touched down in Darke County near Greenville. A preliminary report also said that five tornadoes touched down in Warren County.

Is Ohio the new Tornado Alley? ›

LAKEVIEW, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio and the Midwest have become the new tornado alley with a high count of tornadoes touching down close to home. So far this year, the state has reported 43 tornadoes, the most in the nation.

When tornadoes may develop in a certain area at a certain time the NWS issues a tornado? ›

Tornado Watch – The NWS issues a Tornado Watch when weather conditions in an area indicate an increased risk for severe weather that may be capable of producing a tornado. Tornado Warning – The NWS issues a Tornado Warning when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter IMMEDIATELY.

Has there ever been a tornado in Columbus, Ohio? ›

Central Ohio is not known to be a big tornado hotspot, either in Ohio or the greater Midwest region. Despite this, the area has recorded dozens of tornadic events through history.

What parts of Ohio were hit by tornado? ›

The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes touched down Tuesday in western Ohio: five in Warren County and one each in Darke, Mercer and Auglaize counties. The weather service said crews are still surveying areas of Franklin and Butler counties to determine if tornadoes struck there, as well.

Has there ever been an F5 tornado in Ohio? ›

The Xenia, Ohio, F5 tornado of April 3, 1974.

How many tornadoes has Ohio had in 2024? ›

The majority of tornadoes in 2024 have touched down in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Ohio has also experienced a surge in tornadoes, with 54 reports so far. Preliminary tornado reports by state between Jan. 1 and May 8, 2024.

What state gets the most tornadoes? ›

The two most active states for tornadoes are Texas, with 124, and Kansas, with 87, in an average year. They are both located in the heart of Tornado Alley, a nickname given to an area in the Plains between Central Texas and South Dakota that has some of the most tornadic activity in the world.

What state has the most tornadoes this year, 2024? ›

Texas has claimed the top spot with 67, followed by Iowa (60), Kansas (55) and Nebraska (54). Oklahoma trails Ohio at No. 6 with 48 twisters. And the tornado totals for Ohio do not reflect any confirmed out of strong storms Tuesday night.

What state has never had a tornado? ›

Tornadoes have been documented in every U.S. state (not including the non-state territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico) at least once since 1950, although some regions and states are hit by tornadoes far more than others.

How to tell if a tornado is coming at night? ›

Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen. Day or night - Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder. Night - Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds).

Can you outrun a tornado? ›

Don't try to outrun a tornado. Drive to the closest shelter. The least desirable place to be during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Cars, buses, and trucks are easily tossed by tornado winds.

What was the worst tornado in Ohio? ›

However, the 1974 Xenia tornado is still considered to be the worst tornado in Ohio's history, and is the reason for improved warning systems, alarms, and safety protocols throughout the state.

What was the largest tornado outbreak in Ohio? ›

A harrowing history: 50 years since the 1974 Super Outbreak

The Super Outbreak wrought havoc across 13 states, producing the second-largest outbreak of tornadoes on record, including seven EF-5 tornadoes — the most in a single day. The outbreak included the disastrous Xenia, Ohio, tornado.

How many F5 tornadoes are in Ohio? ›

Since 1950, just four tornadoes in Ohio have been classified as severe F5. The last time was May 31, 1985, when an F5 tornado through Portage and Trumbull counties claimed 10 lives.

How many tornadoes have touched down in Ohio? ›

More than 1,400 tornados have touched down in Ohio since 1950, including 38 events that rated at least F4 on the Fujita scale—major damage with winds reaching up to 200 mph.

Where did the worst tornado hit? ›

This article lists various tornado records. The most "extreme" tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State tornado, which spread through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925.

How many tornadoes on April 2, 2024? ›

There were 7 EF-2's, 11 EF-1's, and 1 EF-0 tornadoes with this event. Summary: A brief EF-0 tornado with estimated peak winds of 80 mph uprooted a few trees and downed several large tree limbs along County Road 319 in central Cape Girardeau County during the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 2.


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