Storms and Very Strong Winds Expected Monday!

Weather

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – We’ve seen the rocky weather at times this past week, and it looks to continue as we move onward past Easter and into the start of the upcoming new work week, as the chances for severe weather returns in your neighborhood.

A *HIGH WIND WATCH* has been issued for our region, beginning at 6 a.m. Monday and lasting through 8 p.m. This means that wind gusts as high as 58 mph are possible – the definition of a severe wind gust.

There are still a few details that need to be ironed out, but here’s a look at what we know and don’t know:

WHAT WE KNOW

  • STRONG WINDS: Very strong wind gusts as high as 55 mph are possible Monday, especially during the late morning and early afternoon, and that’s without severe weather. This will likely cause power outages for many people in our tri-state.
  • HEAVY RAIN: Heavy rain at times could cause a localized high water risk. No widespread flooding is expected, but this storm system will drop heavy rainfall in a short period of time.
  • TIMING: Timing for the best chance for the strongest storms will be between midnight Monday and 9am Monday. This does not look to change.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

  • SEVERE RISK: There is a LOT of spin in the atmosphere, but there does not appear to be much energy for storms to utilize. This will likely limit some of our severe weather potential, but we will need to get closer to the event to know for sure. The biggest severe weather risks are damaging winds, though the threat for a brief tornado is not 0.

A very strong area of low pressure will continue to strengthen as it moves from the Great Plains toward Lake Michigan. A strong cold front associated with that area of low pressure will bring showers and a few thunderstorms to the region early Monday morning. This will likely cause quite a bit of severe weather south of our region across the lower Mississippi River Valley, such as in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, but the threat is more limited farther north across our region.

Easter will be mostly dry until the middle afternoon, when rain looks to arrive. I think this rain will limit the instability in our atmosphere, and help prevent some strong storms. Our main action moves in just after midnight, as a warm front lifts north across the region.

High winds are a big risk Monday, but flooding due to heavy downpours, and even a brief tornado cannot be ruled out.

The corresponding cold front will likely be accompanied by a thin line of storms, which could produce damaging winds, as well as perhaps a brief tornado. Take a look at Predictor below to see this setup:

The air just above us is VERY active, and moving extremely quickly. Storms generally like this, but the fact there does not appear to be a lot of energy available for storms in our region during the early morning hours of Monday suggests that the severe weather risk in our region will be limited.

Regardless of whether we see any severe weather in our neighborhood Monday morning, wind gusts will be very strong during the day Monday. This is due to the tight pressure gradient that will be created with the strong area of low pressure over Lake Michigan and an area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean.

Wind gusts up to 55 mph will be possible across the region, with perhaps higher gusts in the mountains.

BOTTOM LINE

  • A strong cold front will bring the risk of a few strong storms, with damaging winds being the main threat.
  • Regardless of severe weather, wind gusts up to 55 mph will be LIKELY, which will result in some power outages.
  • The strongest wind gusts will take place late Monday morning into the early afternoon, where sustained winds of 20-30 mph will be accompanied by gusts up to 55 mph.
  • It will be much cooler behind the front for Tuesday and Wednesday.

We’ll continue to keep you updated!

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