Spring-like Squalls Create Storm Havoc
Think about it. Not only were record high temperatures set on Saturday (75 degrees broke the old standard set in 1990) but at midnight the temperature in both Huntington and Charleston stood above 70 degrees breaking the December 22nd record also.
The oddity is there will be many a summer night when the air is cooler than it was last night!
So with a spring in winter pattern established and a cold front slapping up against this warm air, our region was fair game for a round of rowdy squalls. The lack of lightning and thunder was a testimony to how rare this weather pattern is.
The strongest storms roared out of western Ohio and western Kentucky last evening with winds reaching 70 miles per hour in spots. As those squalls reached our area they lost some of their punch the farther east they traveled into the rough terrain of Appalachia.
Storm reports of note include hardest hit Northern Kentucky with 911 dispatchers telling WSAZ that Carter, Greenup, Boyd and Lewis Counties have “widespread” trees down and power outs as of 3AM. Grayson, Vanceburg and Load seem to have borne the brunt of the fierce winds (estimated 50-60 mph) with countless trees down. Fighting Fork in Carter County was also hard hit.
In Ohio, the tree damage was more scattered with Wheelersburg in Scioto County a hot spot. Several dispatchers breathed a sigh of relief when they reported just a few problem areas in their counties (Gallia, Meigs,Lawrence OH). Word of a tree down on a house in Pomeroy was the exception not the rule in Meigs County.
In West Virginia, the Mason 911 folks were busiest with Point Pleasant and Apple Grove trouble areas. Trees falling on power lines that ignited a transformer kept fire fighters in Apple Grove busy.
Reports in Huntington were of trees down on the west end on 27th street, otherwise the city dodged the most forceful storm winds and the rains were not enough to flood the viaducts, at least as of 3AM. Across the county line into Wayne, trees were felled in Pritchard and Kenova with spotty power outs. Meanwhile Lincoln 911 dispatchers sounded the all clear!
In Putnam County more of the same with just scattered problems especially around Poca with another fire that was caused by downed trees on power lines. Nearby in Kanawha County the peak wind gust at Yeager airport came in just under 50 miles per hour. 911 dispatchers reported no major incidents.
Cooler air will follow the squalls so the weather will be less volatile by first light of Sunday.