Hurricane Michael roared ashore in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 Hurricane Wednesday and rages through Georgia and the Carolinas Thursday night as a downgraded tropical storm projected to bring rain and high winds inland to Southwestern Virginia.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch and a Wind Warning for Floyd County and surrounding areas through Friday morning with drenching downpours expected through the day Thursday.

Forecasts call for heavy thunderstorms hitting our area at 11 am Thursday and continuing into the afternoon before tapering off around 7 pm with rainfall up to 5 inches in some areas.

Roanoke Times weather guru Kevin Myatt expects most rainfall of 1-3 inches in our area with heavier amounts east of us.

Friday’s forecast remains sunny with a high of 61 with 10% chance of precipitation, a chance of rain Friday night, then mostly sunny Saturday with a high of 56 with overnight lows in the 40s for both days, followed by showers Sunday through Tuesday of next week.

The NWS alerts:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT… The Flash Flood Watch continues for * Portions of North Carolina and Virginia, including the following areas, in North Carolina, Caswell, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin. In Virginia, Carroll, Floyd, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, and Roanoke. * Through late tonight * Heavy rains associated with a southeast flow of moisture ahead of Michael are expected to develop this morning and spread east across the region through the day. An additional 1 to 6 inches is expected, with the higher totals from the foothills east to the piedmont. * The heavy rain and very high rainfall rates could produce dangerous flash flooding across the area. Runoff from the heavy rain could also result in minor to moderate flooding along the Dan River and New Rivers. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Remember…TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN! You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued. In addition, people with interests along area mainstem rivers, especially the Dan River, should take the necessary precautions to protect life and property in preparation for potential moderate flooding. &&

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…HEAVY RAIN AND FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE THROUGH TODAY… .Rain, heavy at times is likely through today. The threat for flash flooding will be highest this morning through mid afternoon, with the passage of Tropical Storm Michael. The storm will pass quickly, ending the threat tonight.

…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM EDT FRIDAY… The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Wind Advisory, which is in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 11 AM EDT Friday. * Winds…Northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph later this afternoon into Friday morning. * Timing…Today into Friday morning. * Impacts…Strong wind combined with heavy rain may cause downed trees and power outages. * Locations…Southwest Virginia mountains and foothills. * Hazards…Strong wind gusts. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… This wind advisory is for wind gusts up to 40 mph combined with wet grounds to uproot trees. Be prepared for possible power outages. &&

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…Strong Winds Expected Today and Tonight… .Hurricane Michael has weakened this morning and been downgraded to a tropical storm. Michael is expected to remain a tropical storm as it tracks east across North Carolina this afternoon. Even though tropical storm force winds will remain south into central North Carolina, winds may be strong enough to uproot trees and cause power outages. As Michael exits the Virginia and North Carolina coast later today, winds will shift and increase out of the northwest. Strong winds are then expected along and west of the Blue Ridge tonight into Friday morning.