Rounds of storms today

Stronger storms possible overnight.
Posted at 1:36 PM, Mar 19, 2020

Today will bring two batches of showers and storms. Round #1 will lift out of the Bluegrass by mid-afternoon. We are expecting occasional showers along with isolated thundershowers with this round as it moves to the northeast. There will be a break through late evening. The second round later tonight through early Friday morning will feature the potential for strong and severe storms, especially north and west of Lexington.

There has been a small eastward shift to the enhanced risk for severe storms laid out by the Storm Prediction Center. Counties along the Ohio River to the north and west of Lexington are included in the enhanced risk area. This means numerous strong and severe storms are possible in this area. A slight risk has been painted between Louisville and Lexington, and up to the north near Dayton. The marginal risk area runs from northeastern Kentucky through Lexington towards Bowling Green.

Strong to severe storms will enter central Kentucky closer to midnight and continue through Friday morning. The storms will be weakening as the they get closer to I-75. Damaging winds and heavy rain are the top threats. Some hail and isolated tornadoes are possible, but chances are better farther west.

One of the unique features that we can show you is future lightning. This parameter estimates the likelihood of a thunderstorm at a given location and time. The image above is set for 7 AM Friday. You can see a more concentrated area of lightning between Bowling Green and Glasgow. In fact, lightning may be more frequent for some parts of southern Kentucky. Meanwhile, around Lexington the future lightning product indicates more isolated storms around the Bluegrass. These storms will accompany the cold front, and will be fading as the line continues moving eastward.

Along with the severe impacts, there is also the threat for flashing flooding through Friday morning. A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for counties north and west of Lexington. While there have been pockets of locally heavy rain this afternoon, better chances will come with the thunderstorms overnight. An additional 1" to 2" of rain are possible. The ground is still soaked in spots after yesterday's widespread rain. The additional rainfall, especially in areas that receive locally higher, may lead to flash flooding. If you must travel late tonight or early in the morning, use caution. The dangers of flooding are more difficult to spot at night. The intensity of the rain may also leading to quickly changing conditions.

The rain will clear out through the afternoon. Chillier air will follow. The first weekend of spring will feature highs only near 50° and morning lows that will be in the upper 20s to near freezing.