Thursday, March 10, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect Until 8 PM

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 8 PM for much of Virginia, including the Richmond metro area (see graphic). Wind gusts to 70 mph, hail to one inch in diameter, and brief tornadoes will be possible.

We will have frequent updates in the Storm Room until we are in the clear.

Severe Weather Threat Increasing - Watch Likely

The threat for severe weather across much of central, southern, and eastern VA is increasing, and it appears as though a severe thunderstorm watch will be issued shortly. The graphic indicates the area being monitored by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK where the greatest potential for damaging wind gusts and brief tornadoes will be possible.

Update On Today's Thunderstorm Potential

Hit-or-miss showers will persist for the next couple hours, then we will have the chance for thunderstorms this afternoon. This looks somewhat similar to last Sunday, where strong thunderstorms produced damage in Chesterfield County. Right now our entire area is being targeted by the Storm Prediction Center for severe thunderstorms (indicated by the green circle).

Although clouds and rain have kept temperatures down, there will be plenty of lift in the atmosphere to produce thunderstorms. The atmosphere is also highly sheared, so more than likely we will see a tornado watch issued for part or all of our area this afternoon.

We will be tracking this very closely and will have updates in the Storm Room through the rest of today. Here are some maps to give you a rough estimate of what to expect for the rest of today (yellow, orange and red indicate heavier rain).