CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Weather Service in Charleston confirmed parts of West Virginia could be in for some soaking rain over the next 24 to 48 hours. A stationery front parked over the Upper Ohio Valley is creating conditions to spin off various rounds of thunderstorms. Those storms could deliver intense rainfall, wind, thunder, and lightening. Some could produce localized flooding.
“We’ve got little ripples in the upper atmosphere that help to trigger the storms,” said Tom Mazza Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “You do get the potential for heavy downpours and as these clusters of showers and thunderstorms come through some areas begin to experience repeated downpours”
Those areas are the ones most at risk for flash flooding. Mazza said the training effect is one which is most feared around this time of year in West Virginia. The front will spawn off showers and thunderstorms which continue to pound one specific geographic area repeatedly.
“You get a line of thunderstorms and the line doesn’t move. Cells move right along the line like a train,” he said. “Repetition in quick succession is the worst case scenario.”
Training storms were blamed for some of the most devastating floods in West Virginia in the past two decades, including the floods of 2016.
The chances of flooding rains stretch from the northern panhandle and north central West Virginia down into the Kanawha Valley, central counties of the state and the mid-Ohio River Valley. The potential for flooding rain increases from Monday afternoon into Tuesday night. Forecasters say by Wednesday there should be a lull in the activity, but another round of potential storms is likely for early Thursday morning into early Friday morning.
Those who live near streams and creeks are urged to keep an eye on the waterways and to pay attention to local weather reports during the storm and watch period.