First Warning Forecast | Ida’s Rains Move In

The Tri-State Should Be On Alert For High Water
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:17 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:04 AM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Though the rains this morning were relatively light and manageable, the steadier rain bands associated with the remnants of “Ida” are now moving in, which will generate areas of moderate to even heavy rains until we see this thing finally past us 24-hours from now. Folks who saw the flash flooding yesterday (that wasn’t associated with Ida’s rains) should take that as both a guide and a warning, demonstrating the kind of experience triggered-flooding would generate as well as validating the vulnerability for the very same. Instead of trying to pinpoint where the core of heaviest rains will track through our region, it is best at this stage to prepare as if it was going to be you or your typical commute that is going to experience the anticipated 2″- 5″ of rain Ida’s remnants will drop as it passes through. As a useful benchmark though, anyone who receives about 2″ of rain in a three-hour period will likely be seeing street flooding. The best time for these rains will be later today through tomorrow midday. That is a long time-frame, which only underscores the risk for flooding. Temperatures will stay largely in the 70s during this time, a tropical feel for sure, but otherwise a non-factor.

The core of Ida’s remnant circulation is still projected to track right across the Tri-State, which then would also focus the best rains the storm can provide. This path will continue through midday Wednesday, after which it will progress northeastward into the Mid-Atlantic states. As the rains taper off Wednesday evening, we’ll be turning our attention to river flooding. All this rain-water has to go somewhere, and the smaller rivers (tributaries to the Kanawha, Guyandotte, Big Sandy, Levisa, etc.) will fill up first. We will first look for flooding potential there Wednesday, followed by those larger rivers Thursday, and finally we’ll be able to calculate what the mighty Ohio River would be experiencing as it swells Friday to Saturday.

Weatherwise, often times these tropical systems deliver some perfect weather upon departure-- whisking away both heat and humidity. It looks like this will again be the case, with sunshine and pleasant temperatures fill in for much of Thursday through a good chunk of Saturday. Unfortunately some of us will begin the Labor Day holiday weekend cleaning up from of these heavy rains. Be safe everyone!

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