RICHMOND, Va. -- Scattered showers and thunderstorms will increase in coverage late tonight through the pre-dawn hours of the day Saturday as upper-level energy approaches the area and provides lift in conjunction with a northeastward moving warm front. The Storm Prediction Center just updated the slight risk area for the overnight period, bringing more of central and western Virginia into the threat area. The primary severe mode with any overnight storms will be damaging wind gusts, but storms that develop on or interact with the surface warm front will also have the potential to produce brief tornadoes.
A powerful storm system will move through the Ohio Valley just northwest of Virginia on Saturday, bringing widespread strong to severe storms to the region. The most likely time for severe weather will be 4 p.m. through 10 p.m., with the greatest risk window from 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.. Damaging wind gusts will be the main threat, but large hail and brief tornadoes will also be possible with the most intense storms.
Locally heavy rainfall will be likely, and a flash flood watch has been issued for parts of northern and western Virginia. A cold front will move through the region late Saturday night, bringing dry weather to the area on Sunday.