Wet conditions headed toward region
- Falling pressure spells gusty rains
- Heavier/earlier in Ohio, Kentucky, River Cities
- Later/gustier Kanawha Valley/Coalfields
Late this winter evening, Doppler radar is tracking sprinkles, light rain and in many cases what is called virga precipitation. Virga refers to rain drops in the clouds that evaporate before hitting the ground. Like a dry throat, these initial waves of rain have insufficient moisture to sustain themselves. Hence they will have little consequence until pre-dawn though they will serve a purpose; namely, they will lower the ceilings and open the gates for rain to arrive in earnest by dawn.
So look for Friday to dawn wet with rain falling steadily from Huntington westward while the Charleston to Logan to Beckley area struggles to get more than a light shower that will barely dampen the ground.
In time the shower pattern will get a booster shot of moisture and energy, allowing for more forceful and hence significant rains to break through to the I-77/I-79 zone by midday and afternoon.
Now areas east that manage to stave off the rain for several hours in the morning will be candidates for stronger winds as the afternoon cells pass. These afternoon squalls will feed off a ribbon of strong winds at the 5,000’ level overhead. While not as ferocious as the squalls 2 weeks ago, a brief surge to 40 miles per hour can fell some tee limbs.
By evening the rain and wind will have laid down after a general 1/2”-3/4” with some local hit spots near one inch where a rumble of thunder occurs. Ponding of water or some nuisance street flooding would be likely in spots.
In addition the afternoon action will come coincident with quickly cooling temperatures in the heavens. Should the clouds break up during this period, there could be some crushed ice falling from the sky (we call that small hail or graupel).
By Friday night through Sunday for the Z (WSAZ Wrestling) in Huntington and the Hunt and Fish Show in Charleston, an occasional shower of rain, sleet and or wet melting snow will remind us that winter is indeed still here. The risk of a grassy coating of snow will wait for Saturday night-Sunday morning while the mountains measure a few inches depending on elevation (3” at ski lodges, 1” or less around the 2,000’ elevation).