Severe storm threat lingers into the late evening today and will be followed by cooler and brisk conditions on Tuesday.
Severe weather is expected today, the main threat is damaging winds but there is a small chance for some isolated tornadoes to develop, especially over the Piedmont. An additional threat of hail has been added, but should be low.
Timing of the storms will begin early in the afternoon as the line of nasty weather will come in from the west and march across the Commonwealth.
Initially, the storms will be fairly potent, but get a bit gobbled up by the mountains. As the day moves along and the line clears Interstate 81 and then the Blue Ridge Parkway, they should ramp up to a more intense level. The timing of the line crossing into the Piedmont is around sunset, 6 – 9 pm.
As the storms move east, they will gain a bit more power and this is the time of day we need to be concerned about the threat of tornadoes. The location of the line will be along the highway 29 corridor, from Lynchburg to south of Danville around 7 pm. This area seems to be a magnet for tornadoes when we have a line like this moving through so we need to keep a watchful eye on the weather this evening in and around the Piedmont. Cities like Lynchburg, Altavista, Brookneal, Gretna, Chatham, and Danville are all along Highway 29 and may be at the focal point for the strong to severe weather. Even if tornadoes do not form the gusty winds can produce some significant damage.
The tornadoes will be embedded in the line and will be tough to identify. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the region from the Foothills to the Coast under a Slight Risk for severe storms, with the main threat being gusty winds. The Tornado threat will be more focused over the Piedmont late in the day.
Last night this same line was responsible for generating a number of tornadoes in Missouri and souther Illinois, and although I don’t expect to see the same type of intense activity tonight, this line has a history…so we should be on alert, review your safety plan and practice it with your family.
What we do need to also remember is that there will be damaging winds with this line, and these are a bit more likely than a tornado. Bottom line, today will be active, I do expect to get some tornado warnings and we need to be ready to get your plan in place to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
Tuesday will be much cooler and a bit blustery. Gusts near 30 mph are possible. The region should stay dry, with temps in the 50s and 60s.