Possibile Severe Storms And FloodingApril 30th, 2014 at 9:07 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Here we go again. Another day of possible strong storms and severe weather in the eastern U.S.. The threat for severe weather has shifted north compared to previous days. This puts Hampton Roads in the middle of the severe risk. Last night there were some showers and storms over the region as the warm front lifted into North Carolina. We were tracking several tornado warnings, but I didn’t see any new reports of tornadoes in our viewing area. There were some to our south.
Overnight there was a major problem with flooding down across southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Some cities received over a foot of rain in 24 hours.
Heavy rain could be a problem for us later today, but I think it will be more of a focus tomorrow.
The warm front has lifted north of our region. So we have heated up. We’ll be in the warm sector today which is east of the cold front and south of the warm front.
Temps started in the 60s and 70s this morning. We will warm to the upper 70s to the low 80s this afternoon. In fact we had a little sunshine breaking out over parts of our area. This is NOT good. Temps are going to shoot up into the upper 70s to low 80s today. I mentioned that over the past few days there hasn’t been a lot of deep moisture in southeast Virginia. It had made it into North Carolina, but not into Hampton Roads. Well, that has changed now. The deep moisture is running right through the region. We are in the thick of it. Another problem is that our surface winds will be out of the southeast at 10-20mph with gusts to 30mph. So it will be windy even before any storms arrive. Also southeast winds around here typically lead to helicity in the atmosphere. That is the rotation as you go higher up through the atmostphere, and it can lead to tornadoes if you have the other ingredients. Today we’ll have some of those ingredients. There will be decent instability (potential for lift). There will be decent upper level winds as well. So there will be some upper level support for storms. Although there will be quite a bit of clouds through the region despite the few peeks of sunshine. So that could limit the severe potential a bit.
The models do show the storms firing up this afternoon. The rain chances will increase to 70% by the late afternoon/early evening. Here is what Future Trak shows for 5pm.
Don’t take the placement too literally. Outflow boundaries can let the storms move east, and that feature is too small for models to detect. So you may have a big soaker over Virginia Beach or Elizabeth City at that time. You can see our live radar at this address if you ever need it: http://wavy.com/radar/
Tonight the rain will continue at least in scattered form. The storms should subside, but heavy rain will still be possible. Then tomorrow we have another problem. Possible flooding. At the time of this writing we had several inland/western counties under a Flash Flood Watch.
Other cities may be added to this watch later today. We could see some flooding on our local rivers. Especially the Nottoway and the Blackwater. Even in the metro area there will be a potential for street flooding tomorrow. This will be due to the deep moisture focusing on our region out ahead of the cold front:
So far our area has had a varying amount of rain for the past couple of days. We’ve seen anything from a half inch up to over 2 inches of rain. We’ll see another 1-3″ of rain in the next 48 hours. Some cities could see up to 5″ if the rain keeps moving over the same area. We call that training. Here is what Future Trak is estimating:
Things will settle down on Friday as the front slowly pushes offshore. A few stray light showers will be possible behind the front, but it will be much more stable and drier. Highs will be near 70. Then we’ll have a nice quiet weekend.
Keep an eye to the sky today. You may want to go over your plan of action ahead of time in case you do get a tornado warning later today.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler