Friday Flash Flood Risk
Multiple downpours on Thursday have softened the ground and with a front slowly moving in from the north the stage is set for more heavy rain and more potential impact in terms of runoff and flash flooding today.
Areas along I-64 received around 1" of rain in those downpours on Thursday but south of I-64 totals approached 2" or more...with some parts of southern Kentucky seeing over 3". With so much rain, it won't take much for some streams and creeks to come out of their banks today and already this morning a Flash Flood Warning was issued for the Upper Johns Creek area in Pike County, Kentucky.
An area of low pressure in southern Indiana will track east across our area today along a stalled front. Once it passes to our east it will start to force the front south and once we get on the northern side of it the atmosphere will begin to dry...but that won't happen until this evening. Until then we're expecting scattered showers from early today to evolve into more widespread showers and embedded thunderstorms by midday and afternoon. Very heavy rain is possible for periods of time. The axis for heaviest rain initially will setup near and north of I-64 (where less rain fell yesterday) but as we head into the afternoon expect that to begin to focus more in the Coalfields, which is the more sensitive spot right now. Most of us will receive anywhere from a half inch to 2.5" of rain. Most can handle about a half to 1" today but that's it...anything more and we're likely to see at least some localized flooding. As a result, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for everyone until this evening.
The actual front will cross Huntington and Charleston right around 6-7 p.m. the way things look right now. That front will likely be accompanied by a final burst of heavy rain and thunder...so expect dicey travel around that time and the start of Live on the Levee could be soggy and may end up being delayed (check our website and Facebook page for updates).
Once the front does cross, rain should taper down pretty quickly so the weather in the Kanawha Valley and Tri-State should improve late afternoon/early evening...so don't give up on evening plans and check our WCHS weather app and Chief Meteorologist Jim Barach before heading out.
Overnight the heaviest rain will shift into the eastern Panhandle and western Maryland. In fact, signficant flooding could occur along the Potomac River Saturday as very heavy rain falls over that way. Our Saturday will be much drier...although not completely dry as that low pressure system slows down to our east and circulates some moisture over the eastern half of our area. Expect a fair amount of clouds tomorrow east of the Ohio River...and at least some brief passing showers potentially near I-77. More frequent showers will be likely near and east of US 19...and temperatures there will likely not get out of the 60s! In the Kanawha Valley we'll reach the low to mid 70s with a much drier day than today or Thursday although not perfect. Farther west the weather will be better with more sun and less of a rain chance. I'm thinking the WV Hot Dog Festival in Huntington will be in good shape with a taste of Fall in the air.
Everyone will be in line for a near-perfect Sunday. We'll start in the 50s (40s in the mountains!) before reaching about 80 under a near-cloudless blue sky. The weather should remain dry through at least Wednesday or Thursday or next week with temperatures on the warm but not "hot" side of things.