Strong storms and record warmth

Thunderstorm wind threat this evening
Posted at 5:42 AM, Jan 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-11 13:20:24-05

As we approach the middle of January, temperatures have been trending very warm. Due to these unseasonable temperatures, winter storms traversing the middle latitudes have shown more spring time characteristics. One of which being the addition of severe thunderstorms.

Timing on the line of thunderstorms will range from the early afternoon through late this evening for our forecast area. The Bluegrass and south-central counties will get the line between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. this afternoon. The line will break up some as it crosses I-75, meaning the storms will weaken some. Still, strong thunderstorms will cross the eastern counties between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. this evening.

The storm moving in today will bring severe weather to a good chunk of the southeast, where the bulk of the threats will be. We will also have a chance for a few thunderstorms to push severe limits. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a “marginal” risk for severe thunderstorms this evening.

This means that the coverage possibility for severe weather will be isolated as opposed to widespread. As the line of strong storms pushes through, one or two along the flank may display damaging wind characteristics. It will certainly be a possibility thanks to the wind gusts expected outside of the storms. Lightning will also be a threat as storms pass. If you hear thunder, head indoors and wait out the storms before getting back outside.

A WIND ADVISORY is in effect and will be valid through midnight. A strong south to southwesterly wind will be persistent through the day with sustained wind speeds ranging from 15-30 mph and gusts from 40-50 mph. Most affected will be the high-profile vehicles traveling west-east oriented highways and roads. RV’s, buses, and semis will all have strong crosswinds to deal with which will make driving difficult. In addition, tie down any loose items in the yard that may be carried off by the wind.

Rain amounts will run between the half inch to 1.25-inch range. The heaviest rain will be with the line of thunderstorms, but thanks to the relatively thin nature of the line, the rain will slacken off quickly, reducing the threat for flooding. Still, watch for ponding on roadways and be aware of the possibility for hydroplaning

Temperatures have taken a backseat to the storm on hand but should still be discussed. They are, in fact, the reason this storm is more reminiscent of a spring time system. With the strong southwesterly wind this afternoon temperatures will have a chance to rise into the low 70s before the cooler air begins to arrive. We already set a record yesterday with the 67-degree high temperature, breaking 65 from 2018. Today’s possible 72 degrees will break the old record of 66, set in the same year. Incredible how warm we are.