Many area school systems are already closing early due to the severe weather expected across southwest and central Virginia this afternoon. As of now, Craig County, Floyd County, Franklin County, Montgomery County, Pulaski County, Radford City and Roanoke County schools will close two hours early.
These storms are not expected to be as strong as the Derecho of 2012, but severe weather is expected locally. As of this morning our area has been upgraded to an "enhanced" area of severe weather. This means many Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are likely, and a few Tornado Warnings are possible.
The thunderstorms will form to our west then cross over the mountains, moving eastward into the Blacksburg, Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Danville areas respectively.
The storms are expected to enter the western counties (Blacksburg/Roanoke) of the ABC-13 viewing area during the early afternoon hours.
Straight-line wind damage is the main severe weather threat, and reports of up to golfball-size hail are also likely.
Widespread wind damage is NOT likely; however, if a tree/limb does fall, your western windows are most susceptible to damage.
For more on the story and the latest weather conditions, click HERE,