National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms moved across northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania during the afternoon and evening on May 21, 2022. A fast-moving convective complex passed across southern Ontario Province during the morning hours, sending an outflow boundary southward across Lake Erie. This boundary acted as a focus for thunderstorm development in the afternoon from Cleveland east to Erie, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, a pre-frontal trough initiated thunderstorms over north central Ohio during the early afternoon.

These storms, along with the storms farther northeast up the lakeshore, merged into a broken line of strong to severe thunderstorms that swept east during the late afternoon and early evening hours producing large hail, localized wind damage, and locally heavy rainfall. Hail as large as hen egg-size (2" in diameter) fell in central Geauga County with other reports of golf ball-size hail in the county. As this line was moving east, a second line of severe thunderstorms organized across northwest and north-central Ohio along an approaching cold front and swept across the entire region. This second line produced pockets of damaging winds, large hail, and very heavy rainfall. Reports of greater than 1 inch of rain in under 30 minutes were common as this line moved through. Wind damage also occurred in parts of northwestern and north-central Ohio initially, before resuming in extreme northeast Ohio and into parts of northwestern Pennsylvania. 

The multiple rounds of thunderstorms led to pockets of flooding from north-central Ohio through the lakeshore counties of northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania. Southeastern Erie County in Pennsylvania was especially hard hit. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches led to major flash flooding in and around Union City, PA. Four homes were evacuated, displacing 20 people in shelters, and Academy Drive between the Union City junior and senior high schools was washed out. Several businesses were also evacuated on North and South Main Street. Water was reported to have reached the rooftops of the evacuated homes.

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