HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WTRF) – Hundreds of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean…trouble is brewing for West Virginia.
An enhanced hurricane season is expected this year, and even though we’re landlocked…we may still have to brace for its after-effects.
Whether it’s torrential downpours, heavy winds or the scary funnel clouds, summer storms aren’t shy about making their presence known.
That’s why West Virginia’s weather experts are giving us all a reason to sigh in relief.
The precipitation outlook is about normal for 2022…with a slight chance for above-normal rain in the eastern half of the state.
Now that’s not to say that you can’t rule out just an intense thunderstorm outbreak. You can always have that. And the climate forecast can’t account for that.Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist
But while we may be spared from excessive rainfall, there are signs that another storm-packed summer could be on its way.
With La Nina making it hotter and drier—that warmer air is the fuel that helps ignite those severe storms.
That also then means an enhanced hurricane season. So if you have some intense ridging here in the east, that allows the potential for more land-fallen hurricanes.Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist
Ridging refers to the air flow in the atmosphere that usually means warmer and muggier conditions.
When those storms form in the Gulf area, the Ohio Valley sees more rainfall.
While the Eastern Panhandle and southern West Virginia tends to get drenched from the ones that make landfall on the east coast.
And all it takes is one. And if you just happen to have the one from the Gulf Coast and comes off the Ohio River, then yeah, we could have a significant rainfall event.Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist
The total amount of rain we get is especially important, because our soil doesn’t naturally drain much water.
Two inches of rainfall here can cause flooding, where it’s not a big deal for the coastal locations.Dr. Kevin Law, WV State Climatologist
Overall, it looks like storms in the Mountain State are on the average side.
But keep the gutters clear and make sure that sump pump is in good working order—because you never know what’s brewing in the middle of the ocean.
If you’re wondering about the rainfall record in West Virginia—you may find the answer unbelievable.
Tune in for the third and final part of our Summer Preview Friday night on 7News!