STORM UPDATE: Threat level raised, expect flooding

Published 4:09 pm Sunday, April 6, 2014

UPDATE: The NWS has upgraded the threat level to a 3 out of 5 for severe storms and the possibility of isolated tornadoes for Sunday night/ Monday morning.

Pike County EMA Director Jeanna Barnes  said the most concerning factors of this system is that it is expected to hit when most people are asleep and continue through the area during Monday morning commutes.

“This is certainly one to be watching – it is April and the prime season for severe weather,” she said. “Unfortunately, the exact timing/intensity are still major unknown factors but will begin to become more clear as we approach Sunday afternoon.”
According to a warning issued by NWS, the heavy rainfall may cause flooding and flash flooding between now and Monday afternoon.


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Soggy weekend weather could become severe weather by Sunday. According to Pike County Emergency Management Director Jeanna Barnes, there is a threat of severe winds and a few tornadoes.
“We will more than likely see several periods of rain throughout the weekend, however no severe weather is expected with those showers,” she said. “The system that is getting our attention will enter the state late Sunday night and move across through Monday morning. This is the system with the potential for severe weather, including isolated tornadoes.”
The worst of the weather is expected to hit the area sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday. The winds will continue Monday, with gusts as high as 25 miles per hour.
Barnes said a severe thunderstorm would have to have 58 mph winds or hail at least one inch in diameter. Pike County only has a 15 percent chance of seeing anything that severe.
The main threat will be damaging straight line winds, but tornadoes and heavy rainfall are a possibility.
“Even though a storm does not meet ‘severe’ category, it should not be discounted. Storms that are ‘strong’ may be issued a special weather statement or significant weather advisory,” Barnes said. “These situations may include excessive lightning, winds under 58 mph, hail stones smaller than one inch diameter or locally heavy rainfall.”
The forecast may change before Sunday. Barnes recommended liking Pike County EMA’s Facebook where she will closely monitor and post any changes in the local forecast. She also suggested using an NOAA weather radio or weather app to receive alerts.
“Please remember that although we have a good system of outdoor warning sirens, they are not effective if you are in your house watching TV or sleeping. They are intended to alert people who are outside and they are only activated during tornado warnings. Please do not rely solely on them to receive warnings,” Barnes said. “It is extremely important to be ‘weather aware’ and know when your area has been placed under watches/advisories as well as warnings.”