Beware the Warming Winds

Spring weather in winter often gets us in trouble. Take Thursday night. Tony blogs of wind and thunder.


Warmth Breeds Double Trouble
It’s axiomatic in meteorology. When the weather turns uncommonly warm for the season, any season, some type of storm or drastic weather event is close by.
And that will certainly hold on Thursday as afternoon highs aim for the 65-70 degree range. While not record breaking (it hit 80 back in 1913), these readings are likely to be the warmest we have felt in 2014.
That warmth will come thanks to a stiffening southerly wind that will increase to 30 miles per hour in gusts in the afternoon and reach 40 miles per hour in the hills by evening.
If you think of the wind as energy and the warmth as a source of moisture, then you can envision a scenario where spring-like thunderstorms form.
In this case, those storms will form in Indiana, Western Kentucky and Tennessee late Thursday afternoon then march their way into our region at night.
The most likely timing for these cells to cross our region is in the wee of the morning Friday. While less intense at that point, these squalls should harness enough power to generate a rush of wind near 50 miles per hour as they pass. An hour burst of rain may well produce a half inch of rain.
Add it up and some power hits from the strong winds and minor street flooding from the downpours are likely in spots.
Hydrologist Ken Batty from the National Weather Service in Charleston has concern for possible small stream and river rises especially in the mountains where snow melt will enhance the runoff into our creeks.
Watches for high water and high winds will be possible for Thursday night as we monitor the approach of a spring line of thunder squalls.
BTW a decided turn back to harsh winter weather next week will lay to rest any hope of an early spring. So enjoy the chirp of the robins and the touch of the breeze on Thursday before a reality check sets in.
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