Pinpoint Weather: Hot and humid pattern continues, storms likely this evening

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Pinpoint Weather:  Hot and humid pattern continues, Laura becomes a hurricane

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in place for the northern two thirds of the viewing area. Gusty winds near 60 mph are possible along with 1″ hail. Heavy rain may lead to localized flooding.

While the Commonwealth deals with the heat and scattered storms we also keep a watchful eye on the tropics.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed the portion of our viewing near and north of Interstate 64 under a Slight Risk for severe storms today.  The main risk will be gusty winds and the timing is late in the day.  The area south of the Slight Risk is in the Marginal Risk and extends from Bland county across to Halifax county. 

The region is on the hot side today and there is a good deal of low-level moisture around as evidenced by the fog this morning. The heat and moisture will work in concert with each other to generate some storms this afternoon. Those will be more of the “pop up” variety and be rather robust when or if the develop.  The storms the SPC is concerned about are associated well out ahead of a cold front moving in from the north west and a dissipating cluster of strong storms pushing in from the Great Lakes.  All in all, we are under siege again with the potential strong storms to arrive around diner time.  Gusts near 60 mph may generate some damage and the heavy rain will be soaking the soils again and flooding is a concern in very localized locations near the storms.

Wednesday will be a bit more relaxed but with the heat and the moisture available I expect to see a few more storms arrive in the heat of the day. The SPC has us under the Marginal Risk for severe storms north of 64 Wednesday. Speaking of the heat, there will be low 90s measured in most locations east of the Foothills. The humidity will keep the region in the “uncomfortable” zone for at least two more days.  Thursday looks to be the last of the 90s for a while as the remnants of Laura arrive late Friday and hit hard on Saturday.

Laura may make landfall near Houston or Lake Charles, Louisiana as a Major Hurricane (Cat 3 or above) early Thursday morning.  The forecast track has her moving inland quickly and turning east near Little Rock, AK and heading toward the Commonwealth. Arrival time for the remnant low will be late Friday into Saturday. The result will be an increase in cloud cover Thursday as the high shield move in, followed by mostly cloudy skies into Friday. Rain will be heavy at times Friday night into Saturday and the rain Saturday will be fairly steady. By the time Laura arrives in Virginia she should be fairly rained out, but I do expect at least one to two inches of rain to be left.  Considering the topography and the moisture content, I would not be surprised to see some flooding or flash flooding early Saturday morning.  Stay alert.

Please check out “Tracking the Tropics” tonight on WFXRtv.com

Sunday will start a dry spell and we should cool down as we end the meteorological summer on a mild and dry note Monday.

Stay safe and healthy

John Carroll
Chief Meteorologist

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