Warm air setting up to invade eastern Kentucky

By: Brandon Orr
By: Brandon Orr

Meteorologist Brandon Orr dives into the details of a warm winter week ahead that will bring the chance for the first thunderstorms of the year.

After a brutal winter so far in eastern Kentucky with the coldest arctic blast in two decades and above average snow, the weather pattern is flipping. The warmest air of the season so far will gradually push into eastern Kentucky through the week beginning on Monday with high temperatures above average near 50°F. This will feel cool compared to the warm air pushing in on Thursday. One of our many computer models, the European, is forecasting high temperatures into the upper 60s.

With breezy southerly winds, I think some locations will break 70°F, which would be the first time since December 21, 2013. A cold front will be plowing across the U.S. pulling in the warm air from the northern Gulf Coast. This will also stream in abundant moisture ahead of the front with the chance for a few thunderstorms.

Some of the storms could be strong with gusty winds. A couple of several ingredients I keep my eyes peeled for are wind shear, which are winds changing speed and direction with height, and instability, which is created with warm, humid air at the surface that cools quickly aloft. The best wind shear will be north of Kentucky with the best instability to the south. Despite this, there will be a region where the two overlap. This is where we could see strong thunderstorms.

There is still some disagreement in our computer models on where exactly this sets up, but the line of storms could contain some gusty winds as it pushes through. We'll be watching it through the week.

Enjoy the warm weather!

-Meteorologist Brandon Orr (Find me on Facebook!)


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