Hail, tornadoes possible Thursday

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2021

An approaching storm could bring dangerous weather to Hampton Roads on Thursday afternoon, officials warn.

The thunderstorms, which the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office described as “strong to severe,” could bring damaging wind gusts of 40 to 60 miles per hour, large hail and cause tornadoes to form.

As a result, forecasters said numerous downed trees and scattered power outages are possible.

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Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Wakefield office, said the timing of the potentially dangerous storm system is expected to be between 3 and 10 p.m. Thursday evening. All of Central Virginia and Eastern Virginia, the Eastern Shore and Northeast North Carolina are at risk.

In Southeastern Virginia and the Outer Banks, weather forecasters said the threat of severe storms is enhanced. From the Central Virginia Piedmont through the Middle Peninsula, the risk of severe storms is slight and on the Northern Neck and lower Maryland Eastern Shore, the weather threat is marginal.

On Friday, more rain is likely, mainly before 2 p.m. Skies will be cloudy with high temperatures near 50, north winds steady from 14 to 22 mph and gusting to 31 mph. The chance of rain will be 70%. Low temperatures Friday night are forecast to drop to 33 degrees.