More than 50,000 customers are waking up in the dark across West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky after strong winds move through. The highest numbers according to AEP's website are in Cabell and Wayne Counties in West Virginia where more than 11,000 customers do not have power. Wind gusts of 60mph were reported in those areas this morning.
More than 1,700 customers in Pike County, KY, were without electricity on Thursday evening, according to AEP's web site. The outage was reported just after 9:30 p.m. The National Weather Service a wind gust of 50mph around the city of Dorton, southwest of Pikeville.
Chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins says the Stormtracker 13 Rapid Refresh Predictor is showing plain, scattered showers across the viewing area with some gaps here or there and very mild temperatures in the low 60s from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The stronger storms with higher wind gusts will occur closer to midnight in the Portsmouth area, 1am in the Huntington area, 2am in the Charleston area and 3am in the Summersville area as the heaviest downpours move west to east. Wind gusts of 40 miles per hour or higher are possible in the Scioto River Valley area. Gusts around 30 miles per hour or slightly higher are possible from Huntington to the east across the Kanawha Valley. Areas near Summersville could see a 40 mile per hour gust due to higher elevations.
"The actual severe storms with winds near 60 miles per hour would have the best chance of happening west of our viewing area but even a 30 mile per hour gust is enough to cause some branches to break overnight, and people should think about loose Halloween decorations being tossed around if they're not secured," said Adkins.
Up to an inch of rain is possible in some areas with the current rains and the overnight storms. Flooding is not expected as it has been very dry in the previous few weeks. Winds are still expected to be stout on Friday despite a drier afternoon but not as strong as the overnight hours.
Trick-or-Treat events should be in good shape this evening besides the fact that there will be some light showers and breezy conditions. After midnight, things will change dramatically across the area.
Light showers continue off and on through Thursday evening with southwest winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour.
Overnight, we are expecting storms to roll through with some VERY gusty winds. Winds at 15-35 are expected with gusts to near 50 with some of the strongest storms. Bryan Hughes said, "The worst weather is expected while you're sleeping but we'll be here to track it all."
Right now, storms are expected to roll through eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia between midnight and 6AM. Rain totals will range from just over 1/2 inch to 1.5" inches.