More strong-to-severe storms possible Thursday afternoon

Localized wind damage possible with storms that develop

By Chris Michaels - Meteorologist

ROANOKE, Va. - It's the severe season that doesn't seem to want to sleep, and it doesn't appear the weather will rest Thursday either. The Storm Prediction Center has put areas east of the Blue Ridge Parkway under a Slight Risk (Level 2 of 5) for severe weather Thursday afternoon. 

As an area of low pressure drifts north of the area, there's enough energy in the atmosphere to fuel scattered storms and to sustain them too. If there's a silver lining, it's that any storms that do develop will move more quickly than they have in the last few days. 

It's for that reason that the flood threat is fairly low, even though rain will be heavy at times. Localized wind damage and hail will be possible with any storm that develops. While the tornado threat is low, it isn't zero with low pressure nearby creating a little bit of spin in the atmosphere. 

As far as timing goes, the best chance for a few stronger storms comes in the afternoon. A few morning showers will be possible west of the Blue Ridge, so that may limit the severe threat there. As storms get fired up east of the Blue Ridge Parkway, however, they will have the chance to gain some steam.

Once any storms move east of the area, which should be by 7 p.m. Thursday, the wind will start to pick up. Wind speeds will be on the order of 10-25 mph, especially in the Roanoke Valley, NRV, Mountain Empire and Highlands. 

This will help to dry the air out and give us a break from storm chances Friday. By this weekend, we will have to track a warm front nearby. Where that front sets up is where storms will fire to our northwest and dive southeast. 

So while the weekend won't be a washout, we'll have to track this front and see what our storm chances will be. 

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