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Gusty Storms Rip Through Ohio Valley

UPDATED 2 AM EDT, May 8, 2010

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Powerful thunderstorms are slamming the eastern Ohio Valley, bringing the threat of large hail, strong winds and isolated tornadoes. Gusty winds in the wake of the storms will make travel difficult from the eastern Ohio Valley into the Appalachian Mountains today.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch stretches from western Pennsylvania into eastern Ohio. This includes Wheeling, W.Va., and Pittsburgh.

A powerful cold front clashing warm, moist air ahead of it with an unusually strong late season cold, dry air mass behind it. This combination is triggering widespread severe thunderstorms from southwestern New York into northern Kentucky this morning.

Powered by strong upper-level winds, these storms will be capable of damaging wind gusts that could reach 70 mph, large hail reaching the size of golf-balls and isolated tornadoes. Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh could all see these big storms.

Quarter to tennis ball sized hail and gusty, damaging winds blasted much of Ohio as the storms trucked through Friday. Tennis ball sized hail gutted Holgate, Ohio and Sandusky, Ohio while gusty thunderstorm winds rolled over two campers near Texas, Ohio and destroyed barns in Cuba, Ind., and Perrysburg, Ohio.

Developing northwesterly winds in the wake of the cold front will develop later today in the eastern Ohio Valley and along the Appalachian Ridge, causing localized power outages and making travel difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Gusts to 60 mph are possible along the Great Lakes shores with gusts nearing 50 mph along the highest Appalachian ridges. The winds will impact travelers along Interstates 90, 81, 80, 79, 70 and 68.

High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories stretch from western New York, through much of Pennsylvania and south along the Allegheny Ridge through western Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia into western North Carolina.

Follow the severe weather risk with WeatherBug and be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at WeatherBug WeatherBuzz.

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