Severe Risk Late Easter Sunday

Strong storms to end Easter Weekend
Posted at 8:21 AM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 09:47:58-04

We’re getting closer to Easter Sunday, and with it will come a heightened chance for active weather. Most of your Easter weekend will actually be quiet.

Saturday will be the better of the two days as skies remain partly to mostly cloudy and temperatures warm nicely. It will not be an overly warm day thanks to the two late-week cold fronts. In fact, temperatures start around and below freezing between the mid-20s and mid-30s. A FREEZE WARNING is in effect for all our forecast area until late this morning.

Easter Sunday will start with more cloud coverage and a few showers around. None of these will be strong or even heavy. Most will get by Easter morning a midday with just cloud coverage and a stiff breeze. The middle afternoon and dinnertime hours will be met with a wave of rain which will bring widespread and heavy showers. This will be heavy rain mostly with a few thunderstorms mixed in.

The real show arrives late evening and overnight into Monday. Isolated super-cellular thunderstorms will flare up. This will be the effect of a warm front lifting. Isolated, but intense thunderstorms will bring heavy rain and lightning, with the capability to produce damaging wind gusts and large hail. This will be the first round.

The second round will come with the cold front portion of the storm in the form of a squall line. A line of strong to severe thunderstorms will sweep the state beginning between the I-65/I-75 corridor around 2:00 a.m. and exiting the state around 5:00 a.m. by way of the Tug Fork.

The most recent SPC Outlook for this event (Day 2) has changed to include southern counties in the “Enhanced” risk for severe storms. Whereas every other county in Kentucky is under a “Slight” risk. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms or this outlook, a “Slight” risk for severe storms means that there will be scattered, mostly short-lived, severe storms possible. If you live inside the “Enhanced” risk of severe storms, you have the possibility for more persistent and widespread severe thunderstorms, some of which may get intense.

The Slight risk is for all counties shaded in yellow above, and enhanced risk is for all counties shaded in orange. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of the Enhanced risk area extended further north into Kentucky.

As mentioned above, the most common threat expected will be the potential for damaging wind gusts. Wind gusts must reach 58 mph or higher to be labeled severe. Large hail is also possible and may grow to 1.00” (about the size of a U.S. quarter) or larger. There is a chance for a tornado, but it will be small. A brief, and weak tornado is possible.

Rainfall will be heavy at times and widespread. The features coming in with this system will have the ability to put down decent rainfall amounts, but also high rainfall rates. Between the initial wave mid-evening Sunday and the squall line early Monday, collectively we should pick up between a half-inch to 1.5” of rainfall. Highest amounts will be south and southeast. Localized amounts could exceed 2.”

Though widespread flooding is not expected, watch for high water, especially right after a heavy downpour. Remember to NEVER drive through a flooded roadway.

What makes this event dangerous is the timing. Storms will be strongest late Sunday and overnight into Monday morning. This means the majority of the people in our forecast area will get strong to severe storms overnight. Make sure you have a way to receive weather alerts in the overnight hours. Weather radios, television, or even your cell phone can be a useful tool in overnight severe weather. Make sure you take your phone out of "silent" mode in order to hear the alert if it goes into effect. Also, make sure you have a severe weather plan and know your safe place. NOW is the time to plan this out, and not when a storm is bearing down.

As always, stay with the StormTracker Weather Team for all the latest information and updates regarding the incoming storm system and severe weather. You can get this information and more by visiting the StormTracker Weather Page.