Tornadoes confirmed in southern Ohio in wake of intense storms Wednesday night

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Powerful thunderstorms rolled across southern Ohio and northern Kentucky Wednesday night, blowing down trees and power lines in advance of strong cold front. Clusters of storms were accompanied by hail and downpours, and golf-ball-sized hail was reported in northeast Scioto County.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Oh., found evidence of two weak EF0 tornadoes that touched in Brown County near Lake Lorelei and Fayetteville. Two short-lived EF0 tornadoes were confirmed Friday in Clermont and Clinton counties, and fifth was later logged in Hamilton County. Additionally, the Wilmington office counted four tornadoes in southeastern Indiana and four more in northern Kentucky.

Nearly 100 reports of storm damage were received by the weather service office in Wilmington, adding in a preliminary report that “it is likely that some of this damage was caused by tornadoes, and some of this damage was caused by intense straight line winds.” A complete assessment of the event will take several days.

The National Weather Service office in Charleston, W.V., confirmed late Thursday that an EF1 tornado briefly touched down shortly after midnight along Route 124, 1.5 miles west of Wilkesville, Vinton County, in rural southeastern Ohio. The storm had winds up to 90 mph and a path width of 125 yards along a quarter-mile distance.

Tornado debris strewn along a portion of Route 124 in Vinton County. (National Weather Service/Charleston, WV)

The storm moved a double-wide mobile home off the block foundation, according to the weather service survey report, and destroyed a garage. Another mobile home was spun was moved off its foundation, and several trees were twisted — a clear indication of rotation. Trees were damaged by high winds in Perry, Jackson and Morgan counties.

National Weather Service/Charleston, WV

Tornado warnings were issued in southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky as storms tore through the region just after sunset. At peak, the Duke Energy website reported that more than 78,000 customers lost power. A tornado watch had been issued for southern Ohio until 2 a.m. for areas near and south of Dayton to Chillicothe line Thursday, which was later extended for two hours in the southeastern corner of the state, before the intense storms crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia, where more damage was reported along the path of the squall line.

Winds gusted to 59 mph at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. Many roads were closed in Clermont County due to fallen trees, some landing on homes. No injuries were reported.

A similar severe weather event occurred the previous night, spawning three tornadoes in northeastern Ohio around midnight on Apr 7-8. The storms left pockets of damage from Lorgain County to Stark County, with tornadoes reported in parts of Lorain and Medina counties, Summit County (Barberton and Green), and Stark County. Widespread damage to trees and power lines caused thousands of outages.

Hail 1 to 1.25 inches in diameter fell in parts of central and western Ohio a little south of I-70 early Wednesday morning, as powerful storms tracks moved southeast along a cold front from west-central to southeastern Ohio.

Windy and sharply colder weather arrived, as strong low pressure advanced across southeastern Canada and northern New England Thursday evening, with a few showers and even wet snowflakes across Ohio. A freeze watch is in effect for much the state early Saturday, when temperatures will dip into the upper 20s in colder spots under clear skies and light winds.

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