WEST VIRGINIA (WVNS) — The remnants of Ida are beginning to pass through southern West Virginia Tuesday and Wednesday. Flooding, strong winds, and power outages are all possible as the storm pushes in.
What You Need to Know
- The worst conditions are anticipated to be from 2 a.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday.
- Flooding is likely across the entire region due to repeated rounds of heavy rain.
- Gusts up to 30-40 mph are possible along the mountains and higher elevations, 20-30 mph wind gusts are possible elsewhere.
- Scattered to widespread power outages are probable.
- A few brief spinup tornados are possible overnight into early Wednesday
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Greenbrier, Summers, Monroe, Mercer, and Tazewell counties until midnight Thursday AM. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Wyoming, McDowell, and Pocahontas counties until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for Mercer and Tazewell counties until 8 AM Wednesday
Tuesday Evening into Early Wednesday
As Tuesday progresses, Ida’s remains will continue to turn sharply to the east as it rides along a cold front and upper-level trough that is dropping south and moving east. These will be the main steering components of the storm and are what’s driving it into our area.
As the evening goes on, we’ll start to see more widespread rainfall across the region with heavier downpours embedded as the center of the low pressure begins to work towards us. This is when our risk of flooding begins to increase. Throughout the night, bands of heavy rain will rotate through. The concern is repeated heavy rainfall over the same spots and could lead to high water in poor drainages and low-lying areas. This will also lead to excessive run-off into the rivers, creeks and streams in the region.
In addition to the heavy rain, we also have to watch out for the possibility of some rotation in the bands of rain as they pass through southern Virginia, primarily to the east of I-77. A brief isolated tornado is not out of the realm of possibility into Wednesday morning. We will have to watch for strong straight-line winds at this time too. Now is the time to plan ahead. Make sure you know where you can shelter in your home and have a way to receive weather alerts that can wake you up. Make sure your devices are fully charged BEFORE you go to sleep.
The wind will also begin to pick up at this time. Gusts will be in the range of 20-30mph during this time. Isolated power outages are possible. Stronger wind gusts will be able to knock down weak trees as the saturated soil makes it easier for them to fall.
Through the morning hours, we’ll see the rain pick back up again as the cold front begins to push everything east. This will be when we see some of the heaviest rain as the cold front squeezes all the moisture it can out of the atmosphere. This could cause any ongoing flooding to worsen and create additional flooding problems.
Our strongest wind gusts will occur at this time. Gusts of 30-40mph are possible across the mountains and high elevation points. Gusts in the lower elevations will range around 20-30mph. This is when our power outage risk is at its highest. A saturated ground, coupled with gusty winds, is a bad combination for weak trees and could take down powerlines and branches.
Wednesday afternoon into the overnight hours, we’ll watch Ida’s remnants push quickly out to the east. Lingering showers will continue, but we should dry out and clear out, with some patches of sun possible through the end of the day.
By the time all the rain is done, totals will range from 1.5-3+ inches for the entire area. Locally high amounts will be present, with the high-end ranging up to 5 inches potentially, though very few will see that much.
Make sure your emergency plans are in place and know where you can seek higher ground if necessary. Make a plan with your entire family so everyone is on the same page. Also, make sure you have a meeting place set up in case something happens and you are split up. Don’t forget to include your pets and farm animals in your plans and remember to check up on your elderly neighbors. It is advised that you have non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person for at least three days. Don’t forget important medications for you and your pets as well.