Potential for Severe Weather
Friday & Saturday
For Friday night the Shenandoah Valley is in the Storm Prediction Center's area of "slight risk," hhowever the "moderate risk," area is just to the west of Pendleton and Highland Counties. Here are the images put out by the SPC, a branch of the National Weather Service.
Based on the atmosphere our most likely threat from this system is damaging straight lined winds. We are part of the 30 percent category for this.
We are watching an area of storms that has been progressing southeastward through the day. The storms are currently in Ohio which you can see from the 4:00 p.m. radar. According to the NWS Winds associated with these storms in Indiana produced a wind gust of 91 mph at Fort Wayne International Airport!
This system is expected to continue moving eastward through the overnight. The atmosphere in the Shenandoah Valley has been destabilized and has a high amount of potential energy wrapped up, something often referred to as CAPE.
The big question with this system, will be how much power can it maintain as it comes over the Appalachian Mountains. It is thanks to the mountains that we are somewhat protected from this line of storms.
We expect that a lot of this will have a difficult time moving into the Valley. However, we still can't rule out the likelihood for storms through the late evening and overnight. As these storms move through Virginia you can trust that the First Alert Storm Team will be keeping a close eye on them.
Saturday is a similar scenario. We should have plenty, of moisture and heat (sunshine) to create an unstable atmosphere relatively early on. Once again, the SPC has us under a slight risk for Severe Storms.
However, we are under the special hatched section, which implies there is an enhanced risk for significantly severe weather.
Damaging winds are again our most likely threat. We are can expect more storms to move through the area from our northwest, a lot like Friday afternoon.
Many of the latest models and ensemble forecasts keep the brunt of the storms closer to the Mason Dixon Line and into Pennsylvania.
Either way, Saturday will be another day to keep a close eye on the weather. At this point, it is not a Severe Weather Alert Day, but there is potential for at least isolated severe thunderstorms.