Chris Schulz Published

Strong Winds, Storms Expected Across The State Saturday

A woman wearing a black jacket and black gloves struggles with a black umbrella that has been flipped inside-out by strong winds. The woman's red hair is also being blown about.
West Virginia is under a State of Preparedness as strong winds and storms are expected April 1.
Robert Hoetink/Adobe Stock

A State of Preparedness remains in place for all 55 West Virginia counties ahead of strong winds expected across the state for most of Saturday.

Thursday evening, the office of Gov. Jim Justice extended the State of Preparedness ahead of severe storms moving into the state, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a State of Emergency Friday in anticipation of the stormfront creating tornadoes in the west of the state.

Jason Frazier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Pittsburgh Forecast Office, said the region could experience wind gusts as high as 70 miles per hour Saturday.

“The key window for these wind gusts developing is between 10 a.m. Saturday through about 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,” Frazier said. “Some of those high winds could continue to last into the early morning hours Sunday for the higher terrain.”

Residents are advised to tie down outdoor objects, have emergency kits ready in anticipation of power outages and to continue monitoring forecasts for updates.

“You want to have things in place like flashlights, first aid kits to be able to handle if any of these sorts of impacts develop,” Frazier said. “With any sort of high wind warning situation, I think it’s best to just continue to monitor the latest watches, warnings, forecasts, and the latest updates that you might see from the various offices, social media channels, to kind of know when to expect potential impacts, and various energy companies to know where power outages may be, and to take caution.”

This is just the latest high wind event to affect the region in recent weeks. Frazier said that a storm track with its center to the northwest of West Virginia has set up a recurring situation to bring high winds into the state.

“It’s been fairly similar patterns and similar tracks of where these low pressure systems have gone each of these past couple of weeks,” he said. “It’s allowed us to have similar sorts of impacts and similar events of having these high wind threats each time.”