Update: 11:00 p.m.: Bertha still hanging on to tropical characteristics as TD Berta moves into Virginia. Forward speed at 23 mph and sustained winds around the core at 30 mph. Berta is dropping a lot of rain in the Mountain Empire as well.
A Flood Advisory is in place for the counties of Grayson, Carroll, portions of Patrick county, along with the city of Galax until 5:30. 2 – 3″ already has fallen and another 1 or maybe 2″ on the way.
Update 5:00 p.m.: Bertha continues to move inland as a Tropical Depression, Expected to cross Western Virginia overnight. The 5 pm briefing will be the last issued by the National Hurricane Center. Flooding in Virginia is a big concern tonight.
Update: 2 pm Bertha has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as the cyclone moves inland.
The forecast track still brings Bertha over the western half of Virginia this evening and overnight.
Rainfall amounts are not all that impressive but if you factor in the fact that the ground in western Virginia has been saturated from rain earlier, flooding is very likely.
Flooding is a major concern. Flash Flood Watch means flash flooding may be possible in the near future.
The tropical wave that was being watched over the past couple of days near the Florida coast has developed quickly into a tropical Storm. Berth is our second named storm of the 2020 season and will impact Virginia with heavy rain and gusty winds as early as tonight and into Thursday morning. Bertha made landfall near Charleston as a Tropical Storm with sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts near 60.
As Bertha moves north and west she will lose a good deal of her wind speed, currently at 50 mph. By the time the storm makes it to Virginia expect to see gusts near 30 and sustained winds near 25. The big issue with Bertha will be the rain. 1-3″ of rain may fall from this cyclone and there is a good chance for localized flooding. The ground is already saturated from rains earlier this month so it won’t take much for this to generate flooding in the Commonwealth. Timing is always an issue but the heavy rain is likely overnight.
Rainfall amounts are being estimated on the low end with the latest model forecast, but that may change. The forward speed of Bertha will impact the rainfall totals, the faster it moves over the region the less rain will collect. Still a very dangerous flooding scenario given our recent rain and flooding of the past several days.