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Weekend Soaker a Concern

Weekend Rains Cause for Concern

I started my day at Bonham Elementary in the Charleston area where Mrs. Criser’s 3rd graders have just completed a unit on weather. Outside the first story classroom, the Kanawha Two Mile Creek was ambling along some ten feet lower than earlier this week. Recall how on Monday sandbags were placed at the base of the back doors as the 2 Mile rose to near bank level. Jasmine Shaffer was the first to describe the “flash flood nature of the Two mile” during my Q & A session.

Now that we have benefited from a 4 day dry spell since Monday’s manic mauling, our grounds have largely dried out and streams have settled down. Even the mighty Ohio fell steadily on Friday and will be down 10 feet from its crest by Saturday afternoon.

Of course by Saturday afternoon our attention will be turning to another double-barreled soaking rain storm which will be seeping in from the Midwest and up for the south. The combination of a new polar cold front meeting a slow moving southern low pressure promises another drenching with 1”-2” of rain Saturday night into Sunday morning. High water is likely much of the morning on Sunday so before you head off to church services, check out the latest forecast for possible warnings.

Right now I expect street flooding galore as storms sewers have a hard time handling the 12 hour deluge. Small streams may overflow their banks as the downpours relent into early afternoon.

Then the forecast gets even more intriguing. Colder air will be tugged in on the back side of the southern low as it passes to our east. That should set the stage for a change from heavy rain to wet snow on Sunday. As I told the kids, if it is snowing by noon Sunday (not likely), then watch for a snow day on Monday. But if the changeover lags until late day, the worst we will see will be a slushy coating of snow then overnight black ice.

The exception to this slushy rule, heavy wet snow will fall Sunday afternoon and night above the 2500' level in the high country. So folks in Nicholas, Webster, Greenbrier,Pocahontas and Randolph Counties be prepared for power outs and a half a foot of wet snow after the changeover.

As for our rivers, strong rises on all streams including the Kanawha and Big Sandy (Levisa and Tug Forks) are likely Sunday with another near flood stage crest early next week on the mighty Ohio.

You can track this latest rise on our rivers with this neat link from the hydrologists at the National Weather Service. Those guys do a great job in monitoring our rivers.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rlx/hydro/hydro.html

To recap, some light rain arrives during the day Saturday with heavier downpours in time for evening college basketball games. So Herd fans set to “welcome back” Donnie to the Henderson Center and WV State Yellow Jackets backers ready for a Conference title at the Charleston Civic Center, carry the umbrella along to the game. You will be glad you did! Then it's a Sunday of heavy rain changing to wet snow. Roar Lion Roar!
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