Friday, June 26, 2015

A very wet, stormy start to the weekend

(Posted Friday 6/26 1pm)
First off, here's a look at all the Severe Warnings issued (yellow=severe,red=tornado,purple=marine) and Storm Reports (tree=wind damage, wind symbol= recorded severe wind gust, purple box w/ embedded ice ball=hail) from yesterday. That cluster of storms that developed just east of the Blue Ridge was the reason for all the intense lightning in the Shenandoah Valley.  

Eyes now turn towards the weekend system.  A low pressure system will rapidly deepen over the Ohio Valley.  There's really 2 main parts that will impact our weather...the stationary front and the cold front.  
surface map as of mid-day Friday

The stationary front is currently draped across the Mid Atlantic with pockets of showers and thunderstorms riding along it.  These will continue on and off throughout the day into tonight as warm, moist air continues to flow up and over it.  Not expecting any strong storms in the Shenandoah Valley during this period, but showers will be moderate to heavy at times---especially late.
12z nam for Friday Evening
As the Ohio Valley low intensifies, this stationary front will lift slowly north as a warm front.  Instability will increase in areas south of this advancing front (known as the warm sector).   Due to this instability and shear associated with the intensifying low, there will likely be another round of strong to severe storms across the southern Mid Atlantic.  While I do expect thunderstorms with heavy rain  and gusty winds in the Shenandoah Valley, the strongest activity will once again stay east of the Blue Ridge (think Southside, central VA, Hampton Roads, DC metro).  All of those areas should be on the look out late Saturday.
12z nam showing Saturday evening storm potential
In the Shenandoah Valley, the area of biggest concern will be the heavy rain.  I know the past few events haven't worked out in this regard...but that doesn't mean this one won't.  By the time things are all said and done, a few areas may see as much as 1-3" of rain leading to flash flood concerns.  On the bright side, temperatures will be nice and cool in the 70s all weekend. The storm moves on and things dry out Sunday which is looking like as nice of a day you'll ever see in late June...partly cloudy with highs in the mid to upper 70s.  

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