Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strong Storms Likely Wednesday Evening

Strong to severe thunderstorms are likely in central Virginia beginning late this afternoon in northern and western Virginia and lasting into this evening as a low pressure storm system sweeps into the region and forces a strong cold front through the Commonwealth late tonight.

The first piece of the puzzle you'll notice today for our severe weather setup is the wind shift back to the southwest as yesterday's cold front lifts back northward through the Commonwealth as a warm front.

With a warmer, moist air-mass in place by late this afternoon in central Virginia, along with sufficient upper lift ahead of the approaching low pressure storm system, conditions will be ripe for storms to initiate during peak heating. You can see by 4PM, our first storms should be developing in the mountains and begin tracking southeast toward central Virginia:

The first round of storms could reach the Metro by 5PM at the earliest and affect us through 11PM. Some of those storms could be severe.

The strongest storms could become severe, capable of damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. Any of these thunderstorms could also have hail, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours.

As soon as the cold front passes your location, your severe threat will end. This front should move quickly through the Commonwealth tonight, clearing the Metro by Midnight.

Locations that get the strongest storms will also likely receive the most rainfall from the heaviest downpours, anywhere from a half an inch to near an inch. Stay with CBS6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.
--Carrie Rose