Be storm ready — Weather risk upgraded for Wednesday

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Lincoln County and surrounding areas have been upgraded to a moderate risk for severe weather on Wednesday, up from an expected enhanced risk.

The risk scale for the National Weather Service is 1-5, marginal to high. Enhanced is level 3, Moderate is level 4.

“We have been upgraded to a moderate risk for severe weather,” Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Chris Reid said Tuesday morning. “The main concern with storms tomorrow will be damaging straight line winds. It is very possible that we could see significant severe weather with this line, with potential for gusts up to 80 mph.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Straight line winds are thunderstorm winds that have do not rotate like a tornado does. They are often associated with squall lines — groups of storms arranged in a line, often accompanied by squalls of high wind and heavy rain.

“There will also be a threat for tornados embedded in the squall line,” Reid said. “Tornados are possible but the damaging winds are much more of a concern with the squall line tomorrow.”

Area residents should be aware of watches and warnings issued throughout the day Wednesday. A “watch” indicates conditions are right for severe weather occurrences. A “warning” indicates the event is occurring. For instance, a tornado watch means conditions are right for a tornado to form, and a tornado warning means a tornado has either been sighted or indicated by radar.

In the event of flash flooding, motorists are cautioned not to enter any area of moving water. Cars, people and pets can be swept away in less water than expected.