Strong storms roll through West Virginia to close out July

The Free Press WV

The new work week was starting with storms in parts of West Virginia.

Some of the storms were packing a heavy punch with the best chances for strong storms in the forecast for late Monday afternoon, according to forecasters.

“The biggest threat would be strong, damaging wind gusts as well as heavy downpours — that’ll be a threat too,” said Ross Giarratana, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Charleston.

The latest watches and warnings, which were changing frequently as of Monday morning, are available HERE.

“We have a good amount of warmth and humidity in the lower levels of the atmosphere and cooler temperatures higher up and so that sets up a favorable atmosphere for getting storms to develop,” Giarratana said.

“We also have winds that are relatively strong throughout the atmosphere. That’ll help to get more organized storm structure.”

Additional rounds of storms were expected to develop into Tuesday.

“Rainfall amounts will need monitored for possible flooding concerns through Thursday, especially in the mountains,” a Monday report from the National Weather Service in Charleston indicated.

Warm and muggy weather with chances for showers and thunderstorms could continue into the coming weekend.

Scorcher for the 4th of July

The Free Press WV

A dome of high pressure over the eastern United States continues to bring hot and humid weather to our region.

“The upper level jet stream has been displaced far northward into eastern Canada,” said Meteorologist Ross Giarratana with the Charleston weather bureau. “Beneath that jet stream we’re seeing a really strong push of warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico across the entire eastern U.S.”

The effect is enough to prompt heat advisories and excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service for parts of West Virginia. The advisories were issued for Pleasants, Tyler, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Clay Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Hancock, Brook, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, and Monongalia County. Counties under the excessive heat warning are Wayne, Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Wood, Lincoln, Putnam, and Kanawha Counties. The advisories are in effect from noon Wednesday until 8 p.m.

“If you do happen to have to work outside today for any length of time, seek shade and stay hydrated,” said Giarratana. “If you’re looking to spend the holiday in the outdoors, stay near an air conditioned facility to try and cool down and keep lots of fluids in you.”

The weather pattern which has brought temperatures in the 90’s and humidity which has made it feel like it’s more than 100 degrees for nearly a week is expected to start breaking up on Thursday and by Friday temperatures will be back in the 80’s with the arrival of a cold front which will bring shower activity back to the state.

National Weather Service says flooding a threat through Friday

The Free Press WV

The counties in West Virginia’s mid-section are under a flash flood watch from the National Weather Service until early Saturday morning.

Central West Virginia counties under the threat of flooding.

The steady rain is adding to what has already been a soggy month, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Maura Casey.

“When creeks are already up and the ground is already saturated and we get more rain on top of it–that’s where we get some flooding issues,” Casey said.

The steadiest rain Thursday afternoon was along Interstate 77 north of Charleston. High water was reported in the Sissonville area of Kanawha County and the Goldtown area of Jackson County. There were some reports of rainfall approaching three inches by 6:00 p.m. A flash flood warning was posted for the area until 10:15 p.m. Thursday. Parts of Wood and Pleasants counties were placed under a flood warning Thursday until 11:30 p.m.

The rain was expected to be more scattered Friday, Casey said.

“Luckily this is a pretty steady, spread out rain, but because we have those isolated spots that have received a lot of rain it’s definitely something to keep an eye on,” Casey said.

The flash flood watch for the central counties runs through Saturday at 2 a.m.

The counties under that watch include:

Barbour, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Pleasants, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane, Randolph, Webster, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wirt and Wood.

Tropical storm may deliver heavy rains to West Virginia for the rest of the week

The Free Press WV

The National Weather Service in Charleston said West Virginia looks to be in a terrible position as the sub-tropical storm called Alberto makes its way to the north.

The storm, which originated Monday in the Gulf of Mexico, has caused widespread problems in the south and is expected to do the same in our region before the weekend.

“With the system moving up into the west, it puts us on the east side,” said Ray Young, meteorologist at the Charleston Weather Bureau of the National Weather Service said Monday. “What happens with these tropical systems are spiral bands of rain, the spiral bands on the east side tend to be the ones that train after each other and don’t rotate.”

“Training” is a term familiar to anybody who has endured a flood in West Virginia. Training happens when one storm passes through only to be followed by another in the exact same area. The impact could be repeated multiple times. The culminating effect of training storms has had disastrous impacts in West Virginia in recent years. Young said Alberto’s rain has the same potential, but the specific location within West Virginia is still hard to know.

“We’re in a really dangerous spot on this tropical system so anywhere one of those bands sets up it’s going to be dangerous,” he explained. “It could be anywhere in our territory, unfortunately it’s too early to say exactly where it will set up.”

Two factors will help West Virginia, according to Young. One will be the western North Carolina mountains which should take the brunt of the rainfall. However, they won’t take it all. Young added the system will be rather fast-moving and should start to break up and be gone by Friday.

“By Friday we start to get a little bit of dryer air in here,” he said. “We still have a threat on Friday, but it goes down considerably as the tropical moisture moves off us of by the weekend.”

Meteorologists say Memorial Day Weekend to feel more like July 04

Ridge of high pressure will produce temperatures in the 80s with widely scattered showers, thunderstorms
The Free Press WV

The Memorial Day Holiday Weekend is going to feel like a mid-summer weekend in the Mountain State.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Zweir says a high pressure system continues to create summer-like warmth but it’s not strong enough to keep the moisture from the south from creating pop up showers and thunderstorms.

“Temperatures this time of year are typically in the 70s. Each day you get a little bit warmer as we head into summer but we’ve been running in the 80s for quite a while and it continues this whole weekend,” Zweir said.

After a few days of tolerable humidity, the stuffiness was expected to ramp up Friday afternoon and stay that way through Monday. The rain will be scattered but any one storm could be severe, according to Zweir.

“Keep your eyes to the sky and if you see a thunderstorm or dark clouds approaching–if you’re outside doing something–find some shelter,” Zweir said. “There will be a chance for some lightening to come through which can be very dangerous.”

Those with outdoor activities scheduled though don’t have to worry about cancelling their plans.

“It’s definitely not a washout. It will be more isolated, scattered-type things so not everybody will get hit but some people will,” Zweir said.

The mountain counties will be the cool spot this weekend with temperatures topping out in the mid to upper 70s.

The warm air will continue to dominate the weather next week.

NWS: Heavy storms possible again (05.15.18)

The Free Press WV

Heavy storms could impact West Virginia again Tuesday afternoon and evening but there’s a chance it will be different locations than where heavy storms hit Monday.

Mon Power and Potomac Edison were reporting more than 9,000 customers without service Tuesday morning after Monday’s activity that included high winds and hail.

Some of the largest outage numbers remain in Pendleton, Jefferson and Randolph counties.

Flash Flood Watches take effect at 1 p.m. Tuesday and continue into the evening in Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Tucker counties.

All of the Eastern Panhandle Counties, with the exception of Pendleton County, will be under Flood Watches late Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday for heavy rain out of slow-moving thunderstorms.

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall totals of 1.5 to 2 inches are expected with maybe some locally higher amounts.

The heaviest storms could hit central and southern counties including the Kanawha Valley later in the day on Tuesday where temperatures are expected to rise to the 90 degree mark once again. The southern coalfields could see the earliest action Tuesday, meteorologist said.

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