CHARLESTON, W.Va. — 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.”