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Rare Tropical Storm Warnings issued for our area for Thursday

Remnants of Zeta move through with rain, wind and tornado risk
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 3:56 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2020 at 9:29 PM EDT
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Rain continues to move in this evening and will linger overnight. The severe risk tonight is fairly low, however you may hear the winds increase as well as some downpours possible. It’s a different story Thursday.

RARE TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS

In a rare event, Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for parts of our area (in orange) where strong wind gusts are likely Thursday morning and afternoon. It’s highly likely Zeta will remain a tropical storm as the track goes right over our area.

Rare, tropical storm warnings have been issued as winds will remain VERY gusty Thursday.
Rare, tropical storm warnings have been issued as winds will remain VERY gusty Thursday.(WDBJ)

THURSDAY

Zeta remnants will move in shortly after sunrise Thursday. Expect pockets of heavy rain and even fast-moving storms around 10 am, moving in from the southwest. While heavy rain and flooding remain the greatest concern, strong wind and even an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out during the afternoon. View the detailed impacts below.

Remnants from Zeta will rush through the area Thursday morning through late Thursday afternoon.
Remnants from Zeta will rush through the area Thursday morning through late Thursday afternoon.(WDBJ)

RAINFALL

Widespread rainfall of 1-3 inches is likely with some higher totals up to perhaps 4″ along and just east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Flash flooding is possible. Monitor streams closely.

They heaviest rain is expected along and just east of the Blue Ridge as the east winds help...
They heaviest rain is expected along and just east of the Blue Ridge as the east winds help squeeze out the rain along the mountains.(WDBJ)

HIGH WIND RISK

Strong winds are expected as Zeta remnants blow through between 10 AM and 4 PM Thursday. Strong winds 50 mph+ aloft pose a wind damage threat if heavy rain in a storm pulls it to the ground, especially factoring in the fact the ground will already be saturated. Power outages will be scattered if not numerous Thursday across the Southside.

While not widespread, wind gusts in any stronger storms may top 50 mph at times late Thursday...
While not widespread, wind gusts in any stronger storms may top 50 mph at times late Thursday morning into early afternoon.(WDBJ)

TORNADO RISK: While not a high/widespread tornado threat, shear provided by Zeta will bring an elevated risk of a tornado from any rotating, supercell storms, mainly east of the Blue Ridge and across the Southside.

The rain and severe threat will quickly move out around sunset Thursday leading to slow clearing and breezy conditions late. Skies will gradually clear during the night.

FRIDAY - SATURDAY - SUNDAY

The tropical system should be long gone by the weekend with improvements as early as Friday. The cold front will however usher in much cooler air for the Halloween weekend. Highs only reach the upper 50s to low 60s in the east. Lows will be in 40s.

Much cooler air moves in as we head into the weekend.
Much cooler air moves in as we head into the weekend.(WDBJ)

TURN CLOCKS BACK OCTOBER 31: Remember to set your clocks back one hour (fall back) before bedtime Saturday as we switch back to Eastern Standard Time. It’s also a good idea to check the smoke detector and weather radio batteries.

The Martinsville race is looking sunny, but chilly.
The Martinsville race is looking sunny, but chilly.(WDBJ)