Strong to severe storms in region late Saturday, early Sunday

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Strong to severe storms based on the risk for potentially damaging wind gusts are in the Stormtracker 13 forecast for late Saturday night and early Sunday morning across the region.

A late night thunderstorm complex is possible late Friday night into Saturday morning that we are monitoring for potential strong wind gusts but the main severe weather risk is late Saturday night into early Sunday after a day spent in the mid 80s.

The greatest risk for severe storms is across Illinois Saturday as several supercell thunderstorms with rotating updrafts are expected.

Severe storm risk for Saturday 3/28/2020 – WOWK image

Those storms should link together to form a squall line style of storms that will move east late Saturday night and weaken as it moves east. However there still could be some embedded damaging wind gusts above 58 miles per hour which is why there is a Marginal Risk area (dark green shaded area) from about Portsmouth, Ohio to just east of Charleston, West Virginia. The outlook for Saturday (seen below) is issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma each day and is subject to changes every few hours as conditions change.

Severe storm risk for Saturday

The storms should enter the region just before midnight and continue with a few lines of showers and thunderstorms that will taper off as the sun comes up Sunday.

Forecast model output for 2 a.m. Sunday March 29, 2020

The main risk from the storms is high winds. Hail is possible in the storm system but is not as great a risk and the tornado chance is low but is not zero.

Saturday night/Sunday morning tornado risk by NWS SPC – 2% chance means 2% chance of one tornado within 25 miles of a given point. That’s a low chance but the chance across Ohio and parts of Kentucky in our region is not zero.

Because the storms are set to move through while many people would traditionally be asleep, it’s a good idea to have multiple ways to get a warning. Most phones come with the Government standard Wireless Emergency Alert system (WEA) and it’s a good idea to make sure it’s not disabled and that your phone is not in the “Do Not Disturb” mode when active storms are in the forecast.

You can get the Stormtracker 13 Weather app for free here at our site. Make sure under the SafTNet Alert section that you enable all alerts and on your phone you enable location services and push alerts for the app itself.

A great way to get warnings as well that will wake you at any time is to get a NOAA Weather Radio. You can find them online or at many local retailers. You program a code into the radio for your county and the radio sits silent until a local warning is issued. It will wake you up in the middle of the night.

While everyone is under a “Stay At Home” order for the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s a good time to practice with your family where you safe spot is inside your home. Here’s a look at those locations and what to do from our Severe Weather Awareness Week earlier this month.

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