(WOWK) — Strong winds and possible severe storms are in the forecast for the WOWK viewing area late tonight and early Friday morning.
UPDATE from outside our Charleston studios at 9:30 pm Thursday:
Strong wind gusts from thunderstorms are the primary risk while there is also a risk for some hail and even a tornado possibly spinning up within a projected line of storms.
The risk of tornadoes is low but it is not zero. The kind of tornadoes that are possible would likely be what are called “spin ups,” which are small, short-lived tornadoes found within squall lines.
The risk of having a damaging wind (57 mph or more) reported in the region runs fairly low across West Virginia but is a little higher in eastern Kentucky. The 10 percent risk category means there is a 10 percent chance of damaging wind report within 25 miles of any given point in the yellow shaded zone below.
The wind will be strong even without the storms showing up. The atmospheric pressure gradient caused by the low pressure center passing west of us will drive strong wind gusts across Thursday night and lingering into Friday.
A wind advisory has been issued for the extreme winds and a high wind watch in the higher elevations. These will probably be upgraded to a high wind warning in some cases.
The prime area for long-track tornadoes appears to be in places across the Deep South like Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The models indicate the more favorable areas for rotating updrafts will be seen in those areas.
In terms of rainfall, the heaviest rain is forecast to fall over the western parts of the viewing area. Localized flooding is possible if we have multiple rounds of rain fall over the same spot in a short amount of time.
With severe weather possible, please be sure to get the StormTracker 13 weather app for free right here. Enable notifications and location services for the app. In the Saf-T-Net Alert section be sure to enable all alert types and you’ll be ahead of the storms any time and anywhere you go in the nation.