WHEELING – While the worst of a storm system sweeping the midwest may miss the upper Ohio Valley, meteorologists are advising that any storm has the potential to be devastating.
Storms are expected to blow through much of the midwest onto the central east coast over the coming days, with intense straight-line winds and potential for flash flooding as some of the main hazards. The Ohio Valley was struck by two consecutive derechos last month, demolishing trees across much of the region, downing power lines for days, and causing widespread damage.
Pat Herald, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon, Pennsylvania, said to expect periodic showers and storms throughout the week, continuing into the weekend, for an overall wet week.
“There is a severe threat, mainly from wind gusts, but also a hail threat at times – pretty standard summertime stuff around here,” Herald said. “We’re not looking derecho-type stuff for (the Wheeling) area, definitely not today; it looks like the frontal boundary will be heading further south, so it doesn’t look like Wheeling will be in that path for that type of thing.”
Herald said that the worst of the storms aren’t expected to strike locally, but warns that they shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“If you do get a severe storm, it’s going to be devastating for whoever gets hit by it – if you get an isolated storm with up to 70-miles-per-hour wind, that can mess somebody’s life up,” he said. “… That potential does exist across the area for the next couple days, so be aware of that.
“One of the main things we’re worried about now is the flash flood (potential). Given this type of weather pattern, with these repeated systems coming across, that potential increases with each one that goes by, so that’s one thing we’ll be looking at over the next couple days.”
Herald said Tuesday and Wednesday would likely see the worst of the storms, while showers and storms will continue through the remainder of the week, particularly south of Interstate 70.