OHIO VALLEY — With warm weather comes more rain and severe storms.
Nick Webb, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va. explained the recent heat and looked ahead several days for the tri-county region.
“There are a few complexes rolling through Kentucky, the thinking right now is, the first one anyway, should mostly go to the south of Gallipolis, as far as the strongest part of it, but you could still get some severe weather and winds,” said Webb.
Other complexes bringing strong winds, rain, and thunder are moving East towards the Ohio Valley and bring the possibility of isolated damaging winds, but are generally considered a marginal threat according to Webb.
This past week brought severe weather as a result of a tropical storm moving north out of the Gulf of Mexico. While it brought significant amounts of rainfall and wind, it is unrelated to the current weather patterns moving through the area.
“There’s nothing unusual with what’s going on, there have been a few severe storms in our area but nothing out of the ordinary, in this part of the country our prime severe weather season is actually in June,” said Webb. “It has something to do with warming temperatures but we have systems crossing the country all of the time and as they get into our part of the world and combine with heat and humidity, it creates instability and you can get some pretty good thunderstorms and downpours.”
Webb explained the unusual heat for the region as well.
“I will say what is unusual is the warmth we’ve had this month. It looks like we stand a good chance of Parkersburg having the warmest May on record. It looks like Huntington, Charleston, Clarksburg, Elkins, and Beckley will safely surpass their previous mark for warmest Mays,” said Webb.
While having one or two climate sites set a record for heat or cold, to have all of them in a given region set a new record is very unusual, according to Webb. The official numbers will be not be released until June, but Webb anticipates new records across the board for Charleston NWS.
“We’ve been in light flow for most of the month, the jet stream has been, in this part of the country, displaced far to the north and the trough has been basically across parts of the west for most of the month, so we’ve been in a stagnant pattern,” state Webb.
Because the jet stream and trough have been out of the region, which reduces normal wind movement the nights and low temperature have not been as cool as they normally would have been, according to Webb. This combined with moderate high temperatures created a long stretch of humidity in the air adding to a lingering heat.
But Webb offers hope to those who feel like they skipped spring.
“If you like spring and missed it, we have a pretty good stretch of cooler air coming in next week,” said Webb.
To see up to date information on weather patterns, river conditions and flooding, and other meteorological information visit www.weather.gov and choose Charleston, W.Va..
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.