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Flash Flood Watch Issued by The National Weather Service

The Gilmer Free Press

Charleston, WV
Saturday, Jun 27, 4:12 AM EDT

... FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON…


THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST KENTUCKY… SOUTHEAST OHIO… SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA… INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS… IN NORTHEAST KENTUCKY… BOYD… CARTER… GREENUP AND LAWRENCE KY. IN SOUTHEAST OHIO… ATHENS… GALLIA… JACKSON OH… LAWRENCE OH… MORGAN… MEIGS… PERRY… VINTON AND WASHINGTON. IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA… BUCHANAN AND DICKENSON. IN WEST VIRGINIA… BARBOUR… BOONE… BRAXTON… CABELL… CALHOUN… CLAY… DODDRIDGE… FAYETTE… GILMER… HARRISON… JACKSON WV… KANAWHA… LEWIS… LINCOLN… LOGAN… MASON… MCDOWELL… MINGO… NICHOLAS… PLEASANTS… POCAHONTAS… PUTNAM… RALEIGH… RANDOLPH… RITCHIE… ROANE… TAYLOR… TYLER… UPSHUR… WAYNE… WEBSTER… WIRT… WOOD AND WYOMING.


* THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AHEAD OF AN ADVANCING COLD FRONT WILL BRING SOME HEAVY DOWNPOURS TODAY. ANY DOWNPOUR CAN CAUSE THE USUAL STREET FLOODING. HOWEVER… RAIN AMOUNTS OF 1.5 TO 2 INCHES IN LESS THAN A FEW HOURS CAN CAUSE FLASH FLOODING ON STREAMS.

* THE WEATHER PATTERN HAS BEEN WETTER THAN AVERAGE THIS MONTH. AS A RESULT… SOILS ARE CLOSE TO SATURATION IN MANY AREAS. SMALL STREAMS CAN RISE RAPIDLY AFTER DOWNPOURS OR PROLONGED RAIN.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — June 21st is the official start to summer, but June 22nd is the official start of Lightning Awareness Week due to the increased likelihood of lightning strikes during the months of June, July, and August.

Lightning is the second leading storm-related killer in the United States, and according to State Farm Spokesperson Dave Phillips, cost the company $149 million in insurance claims nationally last year.

“People tend to forget the importance of playing it safe and being safe both outdoors–when they’re out and about during the summer months–to heed warnings from storms and to understand that there are a lot of myths when it comes to lightning,” Phillips said.

Some of the myths–like being safer in your car–are actually not entirely true. While you may be safer in your vehicle during a storm, the vehicle can still sustain damage from a lightning strike. That being said, Phillips said that the majority of damage is to electronics.

“In most instances, a lot of the damage is primarily done to electronic equipment and to power surges that result in the home from the lightning strike,” he said.

Phillips recommends having a surge protector for your home to protect your electronic equipment.

“If the house is hit and you don’t have a surge protector, whether it’s on an individual electronic device or for the entire home, the surge can short-circuit appliances and cable TV’s and anything that’s linked to the electronics.”

While property damage is the most likely outcome of lightning related incidents (30% of U.S. businesses suffer damage from lightning storms), lightning can be particularly dangerous to a person’s safety if the proper precautions aren’t taken.

“You don’t necessarily have to see rain to be struck by lightning,” Philips said. “The storm can be several miles away without rain hitting an area where a lightning strike can occur.”

26 people died in 2014 as a result of lightning strikes. In 2012, a Harrison County teen was fortunate to survive a direct strike. But he fit the demographic. More than four out of five lightning strike deaths are men or boys, between ages 10-35, and likely participating in outdoor recreation.

In 2014, West Virginia ranked #30 nationally with 149 claims costing more than $603,000 per State Farm. State Farm paid 20,325 lightning claims nationwide in 2014.

For more information you can check out the Lightning Protection Institute.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the Area

The Gilmer Free Press

Issued by The National Weather Service
Charleston, WV
Tuesday, Jun 23, 1:17 PM EDT
 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 343 IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS

IN OHIO THIS WATCH INCLUDES 9 COUNTIES


IN SOUTHEAST OHIO

ATHENS GALLIA JACKSON LAWRENCE MEIGS MORGAN PERRY VINTON WASHINGTON

IN WEST VIRGINIA THIS WATCH INCLUDES 34 COUNTIES


IN CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA

BRAXTON CALHOUN CLAY GILMER JACKSON NICHOLAS ROANE TAYLOR WEBSTER


IN NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

BARBOUR DODDRIDGE HARRISON LEWIS PLEASANTS POCAHONTAS RANDOLPH RITCHIE TYLER UPSHUR WIRT WOOD


IN SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA

BOONE FAYETTE KANAWHA LINCOLN LOGAN MCDOWELL MINGO PUTNAM RALEIGH WYOMING


IN WESTERN WEST VIRGINIA

CABELL MASON WAYNE


THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF

ALUM CREEK… ATHENS… BECKLEY… BELINGTON… BELMONT… BELPRE… BRIDGEPORT… BUCKHANNON… BURNSVILLE… CEREDO… CHAPMANVILLE… CHARLESTON… CLARKSBURG… CLAY… CRAIGSVILLE… CROOKSVILLE… ELIZABETH… ELKINS… FAYETTEVILLE… GALLIPOLIS… GARY… GASSAWAY… GLENVILLE… GRAFTON… GRANTSVILLE… HAMDEN… HAMLIN… HARRISVILLE… HARTS… HUNTINGTON… HURRICANE… IRONTON… JACKSON… KENOVA… LOGAN… MADISON… MAN… MARIETTA… MARLINTON… MCARTHUR… MCCONNELSVILLE… MIDDLEBOURNE… MULLENS… NEW HAVEN… NEW LEXINGTON… OAK HILL… OAK HILL… OCEANA… PADEN CITY… PARKERSBURG… PENNSBORO… PHILIPPI… PINEVILLE… POINT PLEASANT… POMEROY… RAVENSWOOD… RICHWOOD… RIPLEY… SAINT ALBANS… SISTERSVILLE… SOMERSET… SOUTH CHARLESTON… SOUTH POINT… SPENCER… ST. MARYS… STOCKPORT… SUMMERSVILLE… SUTTON… TEAYS VALLEY… VIENNA… WAR… WAYNE… WEBSTER SPRINGS… WELCH… WELLSTON… WEST UNION… WESTON AND WILLIAMSON.

Solar Storms Slam Earth, More on the Way

The Gilmer Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The sizable solar storm that reached Earth on Monday continues to pepper the planet’s magnetic field, and forecasters say they have the potential to disrupt power grids and GPS systems.

And there are more on the way, meaning stargazers will have a few days to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis (or northern lights).

“Solar wind conditions remain highly favorable for continued Strong Geomagnetic storming, with both fast solar wind and strong magnetic fields,“ NOAA officials wrote in a forecast update. “Aurora watchers in North America, especially northern tier states of the US, should stay alert.“

The storm’s solar winds—buoyed by a solar flare released Sunday—have continued to bombard Earth, leading officials at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center to categorize the storm as a G4 level, or severe, geomagnetic storm.

The unusually intense aurora was seen Monday from space as the storm first arrived. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, currently aboard the International Space Station, posted a series of photos showcasing the glowing interactions between solar radiation and Earth’s magnetic field.

The most intense solar storms tend to be red, with less intense winds resulting in blues and greens.

As of Tuesday, no significant communications disruptions had been reported. It’s likely local power grids have witnessed minor current fluctuations as a result of the radiation, but modern electrical systems are designed to withstand such circumstances.

Another flare was launched from the solar surface on Monday, sending out another wave of radiation. Those storming solar winds are expected to arrive late Wednesday and last through Thursday.

What’s Left of Tropical Storm Bill May Not Be Kind to West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV — Flash flooding is possible in West Virginia this weekend.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Bill will enter the Mountain State from the west Saturday afternoon.

Just generally all across the area we want people to be aware of the amounts of rain that could be coming.

The forecast is calling for anywhere from 1 to 3 inches from Saturday afternoon through Saturday night.

That is something the State could probably handle had it not been for the rain that has already fallen this week.

A lot of the smaller creeks and streams are still running on the high side so we’re kind of starting in the hole already.

It has been kind of difficult for the weather service to predict exactly where the heaviest rain will end up.

It could be somewhere between the northern part of the coalfields to the U.S. Highway 50 corridor.

Heavy rain and even thunderstorms are possible.

Some of those amounts are going to be locally heavier, some may not get quite as much, but again, given the rainfall we’ve had it’s something we’re a little bit concerned about.

The remnants of Bill should be over the eastern mountains by Saturday night but that won’t signal a drier pattern for West Virginia.

NWS Confirms Tornado as Part of Wednesday’s Storms in Upshur County

The Gilmer Free Press

QUEENS, WV — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down briefly within a small community in Upshur County Wednesday night (06.17.15).

Surveyors made this determination while evaluating the scene in Queens Thursday morning as residents worked to clean up the damage.

The areas hit hardest were Tallmansville Road and Canyon Ranch Lane, where witnesses said the weather event began at approximately 7 PM and lasted a short time, perhaps only one minute.

The NWS confirmed that a storm approached the area at this time as it was weakening, but rapidly –and at this time, inexplicably– gained strength.

Some structures were damaged as trees fell and uprooted. However, no homes or businesses were completely destroyed and the roads were clear as of Thursday morning.

No human injuries were reported, but one dog was killed while another was pinned by debris and had both of its legs broken.

The strength of the tornado, as well as its entire path will not be known until the NWS completes it survey.

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