Wild Looking Clouds From Severe Storms Grab ABC 13 Viewers' Attention; Heavy Rain a Concern Into Thu. A.M.
Lynchburg, VA - Several rounds of strong to severe storms moved into the ABC 13 Viewing Area Wednesday evening and on and off, causing damage to many areas from Lynchburg to Southside. For the most part, the Roanoke Valley and NRV were spared anything major in terms of high winds and hail.While the storms developed, dark and ominous, low-handing clouds were common throughout the area because the air was so moist, the air condensed out into the clouds at very low altitudes. Within a storm updrafts and downdrafts can create eddies and "swirls" of wind that give many of the clouds tornado-like shapes. However, the clouds were NOT part of any tornadic storm Wednesdsay."The key is to look at the cloud formations over time to see if they are rotating," explained ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette. "Many times, people see just about anything that's in the shape of a triangle and automatically think of a tornado," he explained. More often than not, the clouds look that way just becuase of the inner workings of the thunderstorm."The weather pattern will remain active trough Thursday and Friday as higher jet stream winds interact with moist and unstable air at the surface, helping the storms that organize to become severe and even rotate at times. In South Boston, ABC 13 Viewers report power lines down in addition to a few trees down. One tree event crushed a car as a third round of storms was able to maintain severe criteria moving across the ABC 13 Viewing Areas. In fact, Tornado Warnings, based on radar, were issued by the National Weather Service two days in a row. It's important to notice that rotation in storms around our area can be broad, meaning, the spin was not tight enough to actually produce a tornado. Still, the warnings are a sign that the storms have been stronger than you "average" run-of-the-mill storm storms. ABC 13 has our Weather Team answering your questions from both our web area and the weather center.Our ABC 13 Newsoom has been busy responding to damage reports and lightning fires throughout the day Wednesday outside of the greater Lynchburg area, too. In Forest, crews have been cleaning up wind damage. Multiple trees were reported down in Gladys as well. And while there were no tornadoes confirmed in Nelson County reports of hail between .75" and .88" were common.The air is so moist, that intense rains and flooding of roads is becoming more of a concern with each passing downpour.Another day of humid, unstable air combined with an active jet stream nearing the area will continue to bring heavy and even severe thunderstorms to the ABC 13 Viewing Area into the evening, and for the next several days as well.Storms Tuesday and Tuesday night contained lots of lightning, as did the storms Wednesday. Area dispatch centers tell ABC 13 they responded to lots of alarms but few fires because of the vibrations set off by the loud thunder. Lightning can always be dangerous, however, whether a storm is severe or not. With lightning hotter than the surface of the sun, fires can break out easily.While not everyone will get severe weather the rest of this week, heavy downpours, isolated flash flooding, ponding of water in low spots is likely underneath the heavier storms. NEVER try to drive across a flooded roadway. If the weather turns severe again Thursday, the ABC 13 Web Team will again activate our LIVE Weather Chat with Meteorologist Jamey Singleton to answer your questions into the evening and to discuss the weather situation, while ABC 13 Meteorologists Sean Sublette and Lynsdsay Tapasses, handle warnings from the weather center.In fact, the ABC 13 Weather Page is set up to automatically update radar maps along with warning maps. There is also a LIVE Twitter feed to help you get the latest on the storms: @ABC13Wx. While the ABC 13 Weather Chat is NOT online, you can follow our ABC 13 Meteorologists at these pages:ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist Sean Sublette: https://www.facebook.com/SeanSubletteABC13 (frequent Lynchburg Updates)ABC 13 Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapasses: https://www.facebook.com/MeteorologistLyndsayTapases (Updates from Lynchburg as well)Meteorologist Jamey Singleton: https://www.facebook.com/jameysingleton (frequent updates, especially around the Roanoke Valley)ABC 13 Weather Center on Twitter: @ABC13Wx : https://twitter.com/ABC13Wx (Excellent feed of weather updates)The same system over the area Wednesday will linger into Thursday, opening up moisture from the south, which will be interacting with a front into Thursday and Friday as well, keeping storms, some strong. in the forecast.Again, keep it on ABC 13 and the ABC 13 Weather Page for the latest radar maps, watch and warning information as well.The safest place to be in a severe storm is away from windows, in the lowest level of your home. Stay off of land line phones and avoid taking baths or showers, as the electrical current from lighting can travel through plumbing.Keep in mind, that just because a storm may not have a warning with it, any ordinary storm can be life-threatening if you are not weather-ready. Small hail and high winds along with sudden cloud to ground lighting can cause fires as well.Stay with ABC 13 for further updates.