Severe Weather

The National Weather Service's severe storm forecast for Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019.

The region can expect another hit from Mother Nature this afternoon, when scattered severe storms start to pop.

Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina are under a Level 2 watch on a scale of 0-5, with 5 being the highest chance. Storms could produce damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph, hail, frequent lightning, locally heavy rains producing up to an inch of precipitation, and possible tornadoes, the National Weather Service said in its morning briefing.

These thunderstorms could be similar to those that started Friday afternoon around Windsor and traveled to the southeast through South Mills and areas east of Elizabeth City, N.C.

There were reports of tornado sightings in South Mills, but forecasters at the weather service's Wakefield office said Monday that downed trees and power lines were caused by downbursts and straight line winds. A downburst is produced when cold air in the highest portions of a thunderstorm rapidly falls to the ground, pushing strong winds out from the area.

In some areas, Friday's storm produced golf ball-sized hail. In South Mills, a tree fell onto a woman's house, but no one was harmed. Dozens of trees either snapped or uprooted, and power was out until around midnight.

In central Virginia this afternoon and evening, the weather service is forecasting an even greater risk of severe weather.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the low 90s throughout much of the area, and the upper 80s along the immediate coast. With rising humidity, heat indices could flirt with triple digits, the weather service said.

Wednesday and Thursday will see similar conditions from a cold front expected to stall over the area.

Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844,


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