Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected Wednesday

After receiving torrential downpours at times over the past week (1.57" on Tuesday alone!), we're still not done with the stormy weather while the big, closed low pressure system responsible for the rain here spins over the south-central Great Lakes region. The surface cold front linked to that low is in western Virginia Wednesday morning, and will slowly move through central Virginia by late tonight, allowing drier air to begin moving into the region. But a second, stronger surface cold front will rush through on Friday afternoon, bringing an end at last to our muggy, wet, warmer-than-average weather pattern that has held Virginia in its grip for more than a week. Recent rainfall, when added to the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month, pushed us into the Top 10 wettest Septembers on record at Richmond International Airport, and it's still raining there as of this story posting.

This afternoon during the warmest, most unstable part of the day, strong to severe thunderstorms are possible, capable of damaging straight line wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, large hail, and also a couple brief tornadoes, if storms can rotate. Here's the slight risk map:

The greatest threat is in this region because it will be just east of the approaching cold front, where the atmosphere will be warm, humid, and unstable. The cold front will provide additional forcing for strong to severe storms to develop ahead of it. Stay weather aware this afternoon. And stay with CBS6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm!
--Meteorologist Carrie Rose

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