Thunderstorms roll through area; Air Quality Advisory in effect

Thunderstorms hit the Miami Valley on Tuesday afternoon, dropping temperatures by about 12 degrees in a matter of minutes on a day that was the hottest of 2020 so far.

Strong thunderstorms were reported in Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Miami, Clark and Champaign counties, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS issued a tornado warning for northern Miami County that ended after nine minutes. Radar first picked up a rotation at 8:31 p.m., prompting the warning, but the storm quickly weakened, and the warning was canceled at 8:40 p.m.

Thousands of customers were left without electricity in the aftermath of the storms. Downed trees were reported throughout the region.

MORE: Thousands without power in Miami Valley after storms sweep through

The afternoon included Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for much of the area at times. Most of the damage occurred between 4 and 5:45 p.m.

By then, temperatures had fallen from the low 90s into the upper 70s.

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Temperatures climbing into the low 90s today made it the hottest day of 2020 so far and will bring the potential for isolated storms and tornadoes.

The National Weather Service said the heat index could reach about 95 degrees today with the actual temperature topping out about 91 degrees.

Scattered thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening, with isolated severe storms that could include strong winds, small hail and isolated tornadoes, the NWS said.

The NWS issued a special weather alert due to high temperatures and humid conditions. It warned that extensive outdoor activity could lead to heat-related issues for sensitive groups and said to take extra precautions if you need to spend time outside. 
It also warned to never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, under any circumstances, as car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in minutes during hot weather.

There is an Air Quality Advisory in effect until midnight for Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Clark, Preble and Darke counties, issued by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency.

During this advisory, levels of ozone in the area may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, so residents are asked to help reduce air pollution by:

  • Taking the bus, carpooling, biking or walking instead of driving alone
  • Refueling vehicles after 8 p.m.
  • Avoiding idling vehicles
  • Mowing the lawn in the evening hours and avoiding using gas-powered lawn equipment

Today, the chance of showers and thunderstorms peaks around 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

After 7 p.m., the NWS forecast that the rain chances will drop significantly, staying at a slight chance overnight.

While certainly hot, the forecast temperature is expected to fall short of the record high of 94 degrees measured in Dayton in 1914.

Wednesday, we will see partly sunny skies, but with a rising chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day. Rain chances will peak between 3-5 p.m., after which they will fall again, with only a slight chance of rain as night falls.

It will get to around 87 degrees during the day, and fall to around 61 degrees at night.

By Thursday morning, rains will have cleared, with mostly sunny skies during the day and mostly clear skies at night. Temperatures will be near 81 degrees for the high, and then dip to around 60 degrees overnight.

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