Flood watch issued

Spring warmth leads to high water threat
Water rushes under the Waverly Junior High School sign after flooding on Aug. 21, 2021.
Water rushes under the Waverly Junior High School sign after flooding on Aug. 21, 2021.(WSMV)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -The 3rd full day of spring featured highs near 80. Those temperatures last graced our presence on the first of the month when March came in like a lamb followed a few days later by a tornado watch.  Now 3 weeks after that near 80 degree mark was reached,  a new severe weather risk is about to present itself. The threat comes from a series of downpours that can create localized high water. For that reason, the National Weather Service has targeted Ohio, far North Kentucky and parts of western West Virginia that border the Ohio River for possible spring flooding.

Since the first downpours are still hours away and won’t depart until Saturday morning, it is a matter of playing the waiting game to see where the heaviest rains train. Our supercomputers are targeting the region from Maysville, Ky to Lucasville to Marietta Ohio to Morgantown for the heaviest rains with a near 4-inch bullseye between Chillicothe and Columbus. Should that target zone be realized then the Hocking and Scioto Rivers could morph into spring flood mode.

Now from I-64 and points south the “early” call is for a soaker of an inch or more but not enough rain to send streams out of their banks. If that was to be the case, then nuisance street flooding would be the main mode of high water thru the River Cities of Huntington-Ashland-Ironton and the Kanawha Valley.

Still any jog or movement of the max rain centroid would have a big effect on where high water sets up. For that reason it is always important to respect the definition of a flood watch; namely, flooding is possible “IN AND CLOSE TO THE AREA DESIGNATED AS MORE VULNERABLE TO FLOODING.