Spring storms hit and run

Downpours for many, tornado alert for a few
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 9:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The afternoon rain pattern Tuesday was best described as unstable. For most, a good spring rain that gave lawns and gardens a thorough drink. For a few, tornado warnings were issued in Magoffin and Pike counties in Kentucky where conditions became a bit freaky. All this played out while voters were casting ballots in the Bluegrass while Mountaineers and Buckeyes were hard at work or commuting home from school on a grey and wet May afternoon.

While those tornado warnings did not produce any touchdowns, hailstorms did cover the ground with ice in parts of Pike County. The reports of tennis ball-sized hail in Raccoon no doubt have created the need for insurance adjusters to handle claims from dented cars and broken windshields.

Just up the road in Kimper, hail the size of golf balls slashed through with a fervor. Storm force winds knocked down trees in Southern Pike (Ashcamp) before crossing the state line into Wise, Dickenson and Buchanan Virginia. Towns like Haysi in Dickenson and Vansant in Buchanan, Virginia, were dealt a similar fate from fast-moving storms. As of 9 p.m., Appy Power reported close to 5,000 without power in Southwest Virginia.

This storm pattern serves as a friendly reminder that spring squalls often possess a quadruple threat of hail, high winds (straight line or tornadic), lightning strikes and flash flooding. Hence, the need from the National Weather Service to warn us early against these spring hazards.

The next risk of thunderstorms will come on Saturday when events like the Matewan Heritage Day and Armed Forces Parade in South Charleston will be top of mind for outdoor enthusiasts.