Flash Flood Alert

High Water Risk to End Spring

With our first few 90 degree days of the season under our belts, it appears the theme of the weather leading up to Saturday morning’s solstice (summer starts 6:51 am) will focus on thunderstorms and the potential for high water.

We had a glimpse of what may be ahead the next few days on Wednesday afternoon in Williamson. Feeding off a hot and steamy 90-degree day, a strong thunderstorm with heavy rains, gusty winds and frequent lightning crossed the Levisa and Tug Forks before weakening to a few scrawny showers as it reached the WV Turnpike (I-77).

Downtown Williamson saw some nuisance street flooding and at one point 1,800 Mingo County residents lost power.

These Wednesday storms “did it on their own,” thriving on the heat source of the 90-degree day.

By Thursday, the hot and sultry tropical air mass will have an added booster shot of energy to work off. That extra Umppff will come from an approaching cold front.

Late Wednesday night, that front was lighting up the sky through Western and Central Ohio with Buckeyes living closer to the River seeing heat lightning flickering on the northern skyline.

As those storms approach southern Ohio overnight, they should weaken but still be capable of a downpour, gusty winds and rumbles of thunder.

The front looks like it will ease its way into our region then either stall or wash out. Either way, the front’s remnants will be capable of a daily double of showers and thunderstorms through Friday.

Any area that gets in on multiple downpours during that time will be more susceptible to first street flooding (as storm culverts back up) and then perhaps small stream flash flooding.

A concern for the Ohio River to rise in response to heavy rains that fall on Pittsburgh is valid considering Saturday night is Picnic with the Pops night at Harris Riverfront Park.

As for Live on the Levee and FestivALL fun for the weekend, we will need to keep an eye on the stage and one on the western sky as new showers and storms would be possible.

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