Discussing potential for severe storms late Sunday

Watching a potent storm system that may mean severe weather late this weekend


ROANOKE, Va. – A strong storm or two will be possible area-wide Friday evening and again Saturday. However, a more potent storm system moves closer by Sunday and Sunday night. 


- It will not rain the entire day Sunday.

- There's *potential* for numerous severe storms late Sunday into Sunday night.

- Not much instability (aka. thunderstorm fuel), but there's a lot of wind shear. Could mean high wind gusts or an isolated tornado, if storms can get going.

- Stay tuned for updates. Many moving parts that need to be ironed out. 

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has parts of the NRV and Mountain Empire in a Level 3 of 5 storm risk (5 being the highest and rarely issued). Most of the Roanoke Valley, Highlands, Southern Shenandoah, Lynchburg and Southside are in a Level 2, with extreme eastern areas being in a Level 1. This can change in the coming days.


Potential impacts are likely heavy rain and high wind gusts. Initially, we are seeing some signs of spin in the atmosphere. So if a storm were to develop, it could rotate. That's why, as of right now, we have the tornado threat as 'possible.' There isn't a lot of cold air up high, so the hail threat is rather low.


There are two things that could decrease the severe threat a bit.

1. Storms getting strong west could rob us of energy necessary for severe weather

2. Cloud cover could limit storm growth. 

If there's too much cloud cover, then the ground doesn't heat very much. Less heat means less rising air, which typically leads to a lower severe weather threat.


If we see more breaks of sun earlier in the day, then the ground heats up more. That means more rising air and usually a better chance for storms. 


Regardless, there's enough wind shear (changing wind from bottom to top) in the atmosphere, that Sunday's weather will need to be watched very carefully. 

Stay tuned for updates from StormTeam 10 on air, online, on social media and on our StormTeam 10 app.

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