“Pulse” severe storms hit area Thursday afternoon


Charleston, W.Va. (WOWK) – Severe thunderstorms have developed in the daytime heat, prompting warnings from the National Weather Service for locations in Greenup County, Kentucky as well as in the area between Gallipolis/Point Pleasant and Mason/Pomeroy Thursday afternoon. More storms are expected to develop through early evening.

The storms are known as “pulse” severe storms because they flare up rapidly from towering cumulus clouds, they sit almost in place, dump a large amount of rain along with strong winds, and are gone in a relatively short amount of time.

Stormtracker 13 chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins says the jet stream doesn’t have strong winds above us usually this time of year so it doesn’t push storms rapidly in any direction.

“The updrafts that cause the storms are literally warm air bubbles rising in place, cooling and condensing into heavy rain which drags air straight down to the ground and that can cause wind damage, but it also cools the air below which chokes off the updraft, basically ending that storm,” says Adkins.

Another item to watch for is street and creek flooding due to the high amounts of humidity causing tropical-like downpours. A few locations experiencing these storms have seen more than an estimated inch and a half in just 15 to 30 minutes. That’s enough to cause localized street flooding, according to the Stormtracker 13 meteorologists.

3 hour estimated rainfall from 12:20 p.m. until 3:20 p.m. Thursday

You can best stay ahead of the storms by getting the Stormtracker 13 App for free, enabling notifications and your location services for the app so you get alerts sent to you instantly when storms threaten your area.

More pop up storms and showers are likely tomorrow as well. Find out more in the Stormtracker 13 Forecast page.

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