Strong wind gusts and heavy rain likely Wednesday night

Posted at 6:15 AM, Jan 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-30 13:55:43-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A strong storm system and its surface cold front will move toward us Wednesday, creating a windy day and bringing the chance for severe weather by this evening.

Robust southerly flow ahead of this system will boost afternoon temperatures into the upper 60s and low 70s in central Virginia. That southerly flow will also transport moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into our region, aiding our potential for heavy rain. Flash flooding could be a real problem for the mountains and urban areas that are poorly drained.

Strong wind gusts not linked to any thunderstorms or rain squalls, but simply resulting from the pressure gradient created in our region, will continue and increase in intensity this afternoon and evening. Central Virginia wind gusts will commonly be 30-40 mph this afternoon, and kick up into the 40-50 mph after dark. Severe gusts stronger than 60 mph are also possible as the rain squalls move into central Virginia tonight.

This system hass a history of producing wind damage. Check out the slew of wind damage reports from Tuesday into pre-dawn Wednesday, including some tornado reports in red:


You can read the text for each of these reports HERE.

You can see TODAY’S severe weather reports HERE.

As high pressure remains to our southeast in the Atlantic, and the storm system gets closer to us from the west, we’ll get squished in between the two areas of different pressure, which creates something called a “pressure gradient.” The stronger that gradient, the windier we’ll be Wednesday.


A squall line will likely still be ongoing ahead of the cold front into Virginia Wednesday night. This line will be capable of damaging wind gusts stronger than 60 mph. The winds above the ground associated with this system look like they will be very strong, about 80 mph. That can translate down to the surface as severe wind gusts that can do damage. Therefore, much of Virginia is under the Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms Wednesday after dark.

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Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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