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Dramatic Weather Today: Flash Floods, High Winds – 80+ mph?, Spring Temps Now, Below Freezing Tonight in High Country, Tornado Watch in East Tenn., SW Virginia

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 30, 2012. Expect some dramatic weather today – flash floods, high winds, spring-like and below freezing temperatures. And even a tornado watch exists for Eastern Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

NWS Tornado Watch Until 1 p.m. - Click To Enlarge
NWS Tornado Watch Until 1 p.m. – Click To Enlarge

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch and a high wind warning for the High Country – Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. Both are in effect until Thursday at midnight.

The high wind warning mentions very strong and damaging winds with gusts up to 60 mph. The high winds are expected to begin at noon and end after sunset. 

The flash flood watch also is expected to begin at noon today as “excessive rainfall from a line of showers and embedded thunderstorms will arrive this afternoon,” according to the NWS.

“This combined with already saturated soils from recent rainfall and snowmelt will raise the risk for flash flooding of small streams and creeks,” the flash flood warning reads.

Ray’s Weather mentions that a strong front is moving west from Tennessee and will storm through Western North Carolina through this evening. Ray’s Weather expects thunderstorms, heavy rain and wind gusts of 50 mph for most places and more than 80 mph on the mountaintops in the evening.

The high is expected to reach 60 in Boone, but the temperature is expected to drop as well – with an expected low of 27 degrees in Boone.

Tornado Watch in Eastern Tennessee, Southwest Virginia

The NWS has issued a tornado watch for portions of Northwest Georgia, Eastern Kentucky, Southern Ohio, Eastern Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western West Virginia that is in effect until 1 p.m.

Hail to one inch in diameter, thunderstorm gusts to 70 mph and dangerous lighting are all possible in these areas. 

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and sever thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.