More Rain Could Mean More High Water Tonight/Friday
A Spring-like feel is greeting us as we step out the door on this Thursday morning with many areas beginning the day around or above 60 degrees. If you look up you'll notice clouds are racing by thanks to a southwest wind in the lower atmosphere that has helped bring those warmer temperatures to our region. It's also bringing a few showers but these are brief and scattered for the time being. In fact, as a warm front lifts to the north closer to I-70, the main shower threat this afternoon will shift that way accordingly...and after a few ground-wetting showers this morning I think a lot of the area south of Route 33 will be dry as temperatures spike near or above 70 degrees.
The trouble starts tonight, however, as a cold front begins to make it's approach from the northwest . A healthy line of rain and even some embedded thunder will develop across Central and western Ohio and Kentucky and that will move our way for the overnight. Rain will pick up this evening from north to south and really pick up overnight. The heaviest rain appears to target areas north of I-64...with rain totals around 1.5 to 2"...and possibly 2.5" from Clarksburg to Morgantown. As a result, those areas near and north of Route 33 are most likely to have some high water close roads into Friday morning. Widespread stream and creek flooding appears likely to occur in the Clarksburg-Morgantown corridor if you're vernturing that way. Farther south Huntington and Charleston will likely see a rainfall total between 1 to 1.5". That may lead to some isolated areas of high water. The Coalfields will see an inch or less and as a result it appears that minimal problems should be experienced there, especially compared to this past weekend.
Rain tapers off by Friday afternoon from north to south but rivers will rise, especially those up in northeast West Virginia such as the Cheat, Tygart Valley, and Little Kanawha. Whether they reach flood stage remains to be seen but it you live near those rivers you'll want to monitor conditions closely. In time that water, plus a lot of water coming down from the north that falls in Pennsylvania tonight, will flow into the Ohio River. It's been dropping over the last 24 hours but will start to rise again this weekend, first up near Marietta and then working downstream through Point Pleasant, Huntington and Portsmouth. The crest may not reach some of these areas until Sunday or early Monday so this will be an issue through the weekend. As of this writing the River Forecast Center projects the Ohio to reach it's highest level since March 2015 at many points...BUT that is subject to change based on how much rain falls and where it falls. If you live near the Ohio, though, you'll want to watch the forecast and expect a stout rise for the upcoming weekend.