The former Category Four Hurricane is expected to move over Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia today through late Wednesday.
This will bring the Commonwealth in a very active portion of the cyclone as there will be some bands of rain that have the potential for heavy rain and isolated tornadoes. The rainfall totals are expected to be in the 2 – 4” (isolated pockets of 6+”) range in the Highlands and our Northern counties of Rockbridge and Amherst, and the 1 – 2” range in the NRV and Roanoke Valley.
There will more than likely lead to localized flooding throughout the Commonwealth. A Flash Flood Watch is in place for most of the region as the ground is saturated and we will be getting well past the tipping point for flooding rains. The winds will be rather robust at times near the storms and there may be some spotty power outages as well.
As for the timing, the center of the remnant low will be over the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee just west of Crossville (in-between Nashville and Knoxville) later today and into far eastern Kentucky by early Wednesday. We should start to feel the impacts of the outer bands as early as this afternoon and will linger into Wednesday night. There is a bit of concern with the cold front stalling out over the Pennsylvania/Maryland border as this may block the forward progress of Ida and could keep the rain going longer here in Virginia, the remains to be seen.
Overall, the main threat will be the flooding rains as the area has been impacted by heavy rain for several days now (in various spots). As mentioned above, several small spin up tornadoes are also likely to form in the bands. As was the case with Fred, just a few weeks ago, we are looking at a very active 24 – 32 hours starting today and ending late Wednesday.
Ida will be in the proper position for us to see some devastating storms with possibly several isolated tornadoes in the outer rain bands. Make sure you have a plan in place and that you communicate well with friends and family.
Please stay safe, download the WFXR app so you cans stay ahead of the storms.