Rain and Storm Wrap Up! 9/20

By: Josh Knight
By: Josh Knight

Some of Tuesday's storms were very powerful and dumped a lot of rain around the area. Here is a closer look at rain totals and where damage was reported.


Rain & Storm Wrap Up!

Rain totals from Tuesday's storms ranged from just over an inch to more than four inches! The rain started late Monday night for the southern and western viewing area and continued with lingering showers into Tuesday evening.

Here is a running list from our weather watchers along with some shots from the radar.

During the day the area was put under a Tornado Watch and a Flash Flood Watch, but we were lucky enough to not deal with either type of warning.

In general, areas to the west and through Shenandoah County saw the highest rainfall totals.

Early in the morning, before our cold front came through, an area of low pressure with moisture rich Gulf air moved into the Valley.

During this time most areas saw rain and many areas in the higher elevations were picking up moderate to heavy rain. Fortunately, there were only a few thunderstorms and showers with gusty winds throughout the day. However, it was a different story as the storms moved east of the Blue Ridge.

      The air in the Valley was relatively stabilized because of the ongoing morning rain. However, most of the area on the other side of the mountains stayed relatively dry.

When the cold front finally moved through in the afternoon a line of storms developed almost immediately along the mountains and continued east towards the coast. These storms caused significantly more wind damage than anything we saw in our area. 

This radar shot is from a few hours after the storms moved beyond the Blue Ridge.

Within that leading edge of storms you can see a number of bow echoes (places where the line seems to jut forward). In those areas the stronger winds from the middle of the atmosphere have pushed down and forward towards the surface, often creating damaging wind gusts.

This map is from the Storm Prediction Center showing the severe storm reports for wind damage, which are quite extensive east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Often, some damage and severe winds (58+ mph) will go unreported, but you can clearly see the difference in the intensity of the storms within the Valley and then east of the Valley.

Shenandoah County had the only wind report in the Valley and then there was another just on the eastern side of Afton Mountain.

With the right amount of wind shear and energy, the potential for severe weather was here most of the day, which is why a Severe Weather Alert Day was initiated. Fortunately, our area was mostly unscathed!


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