Flash flood watch issued

ELKINS – Thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and potential flooding are predicted for most of the state as the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch covering at least 30 counties Wednesday.

The thunderstorms expected to move from the Wheeling area this morning may not have a devastating rainfall effect, but local residents are urged to take precautionary measures.

With the unmeasureable nature of scattered storms, meteorologist Andrew Beavers said it is difficult to predict how much precipitation each will bring because the storms are not necessarily organized into a front. Some storms may have a rainfall potential of an inch or so an hour, but some areas may receive heavier downpours with rainfall potentials of possibly three inches per hour.

The Elkins area has seen 3.6 inches of rainfall so far in May. This is currently 0.86 inches below the month’s general average of 4.46 inches. With the upcoming storms, Elkins is expected to meet but not exceed the month’s historically recorded averages.

“There is always a potential for power outages,” said Beavers, and he advises residents to refrain from driving during storms and to avoid low-lying areas.

The weather is expected to clear up slightly in time for the weekend, bringing in partly cloudy skies. At presstime Wednesday, thunderstorms were predicted to continue throughout the week.