Pinpoint Weather: Scattered storms Friday as we brace for the arrival of Laura early Saturday

Weather Blog

Today there will be some robust storms moving into the northern tier counties and the Storm Prediction Center has placed a portion of the region under the Marginal Risk today for severe storms. Gusty wind will be the main concern.  The pattern should settle down tonight as we get ready to deal with the remnants of what once was Major Hurricane Laura.

Friday the clouds will move in ahead of the remnants of Laura. Rain is expected to be off and on and some of the storms may be a bit robust. Temperatures on Friday will still be on the warm side and most models have temps near 90 east of the Parkway so if we do get some pre-Laura storms they may be a bit robust.

Saturday will start out with rain arriving from the west over the mountains around sunrise and progress east as the morning moves along. Some models have the center of the remnant low (currently Laura) moving directly over the 460 corridor while others have it south near the 58 corridor. Bottom line is we are expecting about 1 – 3” or rain and some strong to severe storms.  There is the potential for an isolated tornado to spin up in one of these cells as the encounter the heat of the day over the Piedmont. The intensity of the spin ups will be in the EF0 – EF1 range, meaning wind speeds that may max out at 112 mph, so even a weak tornado is a dangerous tornado. 

In the Highlands is where the heaviest rain will fall and that is expected to be Saturday morning. All our recent rain and the rain I expect between now and Saturday morning will have saturated the ground, so any rain that falls will run off quickly. Flash flooding will more than likely be on the table as one of our dangerous components to this event.  Rugged terrain channels water quickly, please stay alert.

Gusty winds and steady winds are going to accompany the storms so there may be some trees knocked over and power outages. This will be the more likely scenario of trouble Saturday. We are still concerned about severe storms but the steady rain and the saturated soils are going to allow for some flooding or flash flooding Saturday afternoon and evening.

Sunday will be quiet as we end the meteorological summer on a dry note Monday. Rain will return on Tuesday as clouds increase late in the day Monday ahead of the rain slated for Tuesday.

Stay safe and healthy

John Carroll
Chief Meteorologist

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