National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


On the morning of June 7th, an upper low was centered over the Mississippi Valley, with a broad upper trough extending into VA/NC. At the surface, a frontal boundary was very slowly moving south through the region. There was a easterly component to the flow from 850 mb down to the surface (mainly along and north of the frontal boundary), while the mid-upper level flow was largely out of the SW. Deep layer moisture was already in place, with Precipitable Water (PW) values of around 2". Winds were out of the SW across southern VA/NC, while winds were E-NE north of Interstate 64. There was still plenty of low-level moisture in place immediately N of the boundary (dewpoints were still around 70° at 12z). While a few showers were ongoing during the mid-morning hours on 6/7, the heaviest rainfall was still a few hours away.

The combination of daytime heating, the frontal boundary, and a series of vorticity maxima riding along the aforementioned upper trough allowed for showers to increase in coverage/intensity by midday-early afternoon. Since the flow was fairly weak from the surface to the mid-levels, showers/t-storms that did develop moved very slowly (especially N of the boundary). Looking at the mesoanalysis, it is important to note that there was some modest instability even in areas immediately north of the boundary at 18z/2 PM. The first series of Flash Flood Warnings were issued in the Richmond area in response to some areas receiving 3 inches of rain in less than an hour...due entirely to t-storms that developed/maintained themselves N of the boundary. Shortly after 18z/2 PM, additional showers/t-storms developed along the frontal boundary as it moved southward through SE VA. This second area of showers/t-storms persisted through the early evening hours, prompting another round of Flash Flood Warnings (and of course numerous reports of flooding). Two areas that were especially hard hit by flooding were Norfolk/NE Chesapeake as well as areas right by our office in Wakefield.  

The rain diminished in intensity (although there were still areas of moderate-heavy rain) during the evening hours due to the combination of the loss of daytime heating/frontal boundary moving south of the CWA. Despite this, some areas still recorded 1" of rain during the overnight hours and there were Flood Advisories in effect for areas in/around Wakefield into the early morning hours.


24 Hour Radar Estimated Rainfall and Selected Observations. Note...The radar estimated rainfall did not pick up on some of the locally higher amounts (e.g 6" near Ashland).
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