CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Weather Service has placed most of the state’s counties under a tornado watch until 6 p.m. Monday.
Forty-one of the state’s 55 counties are under the watch.
There’s a moderate risk threat for most areas.
MetroNews Accu-Weather Meteorologist Heather Zehr said that’s type of risk doesn’t happen often.
“That is their 4th highest tier of severe weather and this is the first one issued since 2015 in our area,” Zehr said.
The system is fueled by a great deal of humidity and another low-pressure system that has been associated with severe weather across Indiana and Ohio overnight. This, combined with a cool front and an unseasonably strong upper low pressure system, will create volatile weather conditions through the afternoon.
“That’s likely to pass just north of us, and I think that will probably fuel some of the stronger storms across southwestern Pennsylvania, but I think we could get in on some of that activity as well,” Zehr said.
⚠️ Severe storms this afternoon and evening may produce damaging winds, large hail, and a few tornadoes.
🌊 Heavy rain within these storms could cause flash flooding.
See the latest weather briefings: https://t.co/4RnSQBaYQR #WVwx pic.twitter.com/cUAutsetVM
— West Virginia Emergency Management Division (@WVEMD) August 7, 2023
Zehr said the severe risks through the day today include wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, the possibility of hail, isolated tornadoes, and heavy downpours.
But it’s not out of the question that we might see some places getting as high as 80 miles per hour,” Zehr said. “I think that is most likely along the spine of the Appalachians from the panhandle down into far eastern West Virginia.
Zehr said residents should watch for severe conditions throughout the day.
“Use a weather radio and try to stay close to the weather radar or app to provide timely notifications. Never drive into standing water on roadways. Turn around, don’t drown,” Zehr said.
Some of the storms could produce rain of 1 to 2 inches an hour.
“That could lead to the usual ponding of water on roadways, as well as the possibility that in some of the steeper terrain you could end up with some flash flooding,” Zehr said.
The counties under the tornado watch include:
BARBOUR, BOONE, BRAXTON,
CABELL, CALHOUN, CLAY,
DODDRIDGE, FAYETTE, GILMER,
HARRISON, JACKSON, KANAWHA,
LEWIS, LINCOLN, LOGAN,
MARION, MARSHALL, MASON,
MCDOWELL, MINGO, MONONGALIA,
NICHOLAS, OHIO, PLEASANTS,
POCAHONTAS, PRESTON, PUTNAM,
RALEIGH, RANDOLPH, RITCHIE,
ROANE TAYLOR TUCKER
TYLER, UPSHUR, WAYNE,
WEBSTER, WETZEL, WIRT,