Warm Weather may lead to Severe Thunderstorms

A taste of spring this week may lead to an early bout of severe weather. Here's the latest on the severe weather threat for Thursday night in Eastern Kentucky.

 Good Monday to you on what's started as a pretty nice day across the mountains.  We've seen a mix of sun and clouds and most of the region topped out in the 50s.  Tonight we will see a few rounds of rain rolling through Eastern Kentucky as part of a storm system passing by to our north.  The rain may be a little heavy at times, and potential we could hear a rumble of thunder or two.  The rain could lead to some dense fog for your Tuesday morning commute.  You can track the rain below:


After tonight's rain the next few days look dry.  Our next chance of rain doesn't roll into Eastern Kentucky until Thursday evening.  Here's a look at the 7-Day forecast:


Severe Weather Discussion:

So let's talk a little about the severe weather threat for Thursday night and Friday morning.  A very potent cold front and low pressure system will crash into a warm and humid air mass across the Ohio Valley on Thursday.  This is going to lead to some strong thunderstorms across region and we have a chance here in Eastern Kentucky.  The Storm Prediction Center already has us highlighted for a risk of severe weather on Thursday.


This storm is just now starting to come into the range of the NAM computer model, which is usually my preferred model when forecasting severe weather a few days out.  Here's what it's showing so far:


As you can see it's bringing a squall line through Eastern Kentucky between 10:00 PM Thursday  and 3:00 AM Friday.  Being a squall line it looks like our main threats would be strong wind and some heavy rain.  However we may have an isolated tornado threat due to the amount of shear and vorticity in the atmosphere.


The threat is low for Tornadoes at this point, but it is something I will keep a very close eye on as we go through out the week.  The main limiting factor for these storms will be that they will move in during the night, so they will not be able to feed on as much heat as if they were to hit during the middle of the day.  However the wind field with this storm is look quite impressive.  Check out the forecast wind speeds one mile up in the atmosphere early Friday morning.



This is showing wind approaching 100 miles per hour just a mile off the ground on Thursday night and Friday morning.  If we get some thunderstorms going they would be able to tap into that wind energy and pull at least some of it down.  

As always we will monitor the situation and let you know what to expect as we get more information in.  At this point I would just be ready to deal with some very gusty winds Thursday into Friday.  I'll more throughout the week.

-Shane Smith

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