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Afternoon Forecast Discussion: March 2, 2012
Written by Aaron Davis, Meteorologist   
A strong low pressure system that is moving through the upper Mississippi Valley will bring the chance for severe weather from Mississippi north to Ohio and east to Virginia today The WUVT listening area is under a slight risk for severe weather through tonight. 

Areas further west of us, which include central Kentucky and north-central Tennessee, are under a High Risk for severe weather. This is a dangerous situation that needs to be closely monitored if you are traveling west today, especially along Interstate 40 and Interstate 64. The chance for hail, torrential rains, wind, lightning, and strong tornadoes will persist into the evening hours as this system pushes northeast through Missouri into Ohio. Tornadic storms are already firing along the Alabama/Tennessee border, and back into southern Illinois and Missouri. Coverage of these storms will increase and move north through the day as the warm, unstable air mass lifts northward behind a warm front into central Kentucky.

There have been multiple storms firing across northeastern Tennessee and far southwest Virginia, especially around Bristol and Abingdon, this morning and afternoon. However, a much more stable airmass is in place as you move farther up I-81. This is inhibiting the development of any thunderstorms across the New River Valley, and while we’re already seeing some heavy rain this afternoon, the chance for severe thunderstorms is limited at the moment.

The risk for flash flooding and severe weather across southwest Virginia increases later this evening, and it’s possible that flash flood and/or severe thunderstorm watches may be posted for all or part of the WUVT listening area. A flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for flash flooding from heavy rains in these storms while a severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for strong storms that can possess damaging winds, hail, and dangerous lightning. The storms that will impact parts of central Tennessee and Kentucky later today will make their way east into our area late tonight, so be aware as these storms can still pack a punch. Even though these storms will be weaker due to the more stable air mass in place over our area, they will still be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and an isolated tornado. That being said, flash flooding will be the biggest concern as these storms dump heavy amounts of rain in a small amount of time.

We'll post updates here and on the WUVT News Facebook page through the afternoon, and have all the latest information on the WUVT News at 5pm.

 
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