Flood Watch, Severe Weather Threat for the Weekend


A look at radar at 8:14 this morning shows scattered showers with brief downpours occurring.  Much of the activity is moving east of I-65.  So far, no thunderstorms have been detected.  Our day is starting windy and warm with temperatures in the 50s.


The morning Futurecast map for 10am shows scattered showers will continue today with maybe a few brief downpours but nothing serious.  Of course, the winds will continue to kick up from the south and southwest at 15-25, even 30 mph at times.


The Futurecast map for 10pm tonight shows a tapering off of some of the scattered shower activity while heavier rains and thunderstorms ramp up to our west.  We will begin to see heavier rain pick up for a time tonight – especially west of I-65.  No severe storms are forecast tonight, just general rumbles of thunder with the possibility of some drenching downpours.


Overnight is when we will begin to see many of the Flood Watches and Advisories go up “officially” and as you can see, they are pretty widespread.  There is a warm and a cold side to this massive storm system and we will stay on the warm side of things for the duration of the weekend.  While the Flood Watch takes up only the western third of the WBKO viewing area as of this writing, it could be further extended east as we go through the day.  Further north and northwest (the cold side), there are numerous Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches.  If you’re planning to travel north or west of St. Louis, look for snow and ice to become a major issue throughout the weekend.


Saturday begins with a line of intense rain and strong thunderstorms just to our west as a second impulse of low pressure rides along a stalled frontal boundary.  That slow movement will lead to drenching downpours and torrential rains mainly west of I-65 for the first half of Saturday.  Some of you east of I-65 and along the Cumberland Plateau may not even see that much rain for the first part of the day.  In fact, if enough sun energy bleeds through the clouds, this will cause a rise in instability which may lead to stronger storms later in the day.  Therefore…


…the Storm Prediction Center has placed ALL of the WBKO viewing area (and beyond) under a SLIGHT RISK for severe storms Saturday afternoon and evening.  While the primary threat area looks to be west of I-65, that added instability I just mentioned will slowly move east into Saturday evening putting all of our viewers under the threat for potentially damaging winds, flooding rains and even a few brief, short-lived tornado “spin-ups” as we have seen before with these kind of systems.  It will be in the form of a quasi-linear “line” of storms that can bow out at certain points causing a tornado or two.  However, the overall tornado threat is not very high and much of that depends on any sun we get on Saturday.


As we have discussed here, on TV and my podcast over the last few days, rainfall is going to be the biggest impact from this system for Southern Kentucky.  Again, the rainfall forecast map shows that we are in a “split” between very heavy rain to the west of I-65 with lighter amounts to the east.  With the slow propagation of the cold front, this will cause creeks, streams and rivers to rise above bank full to the west with amounts of 3-4″ while 2-3″ rains are certainly possible in and around the Bowling Green area Saturday into Sunday.  Low water fords and some back roads will certainly become flooded over the weekend and even into early next week.


By Saturday night, the second impulse of low pressure will be passing to our north and the stalled front will begin to move eastward…slowly.  Some of the heaviest rain for those along and east of I-65 will take place then begin to subside early Sunday.  Colder air will move in as well dropping our temperatures by Sunday afternoon into the 40s, then into the 30s but the best moisture will be gone by the time the cold air arrives…therefore, we are not looking for any winter weather with this system here in Southern Kentucky.


The long range forecast still calls for a quiet but “snow free” Christmas here.  Highs will be in the mid 30s Christmas Eve but will warm into the upper 40s by Christmas Day.  Some rain will move in for Thursday.

We will do our best to keep you up to date on the weather situation throughout the weekend.  Just download our WBKO app from the App Store or Google Play and you will see radar and the latest forecasts.  Stephanie Midgett will be here with any live updates if they become necessary.  Be sure and have your NOAA weather radio turned on just in case warnings are issued.  If you’re leaving out of town for the holiday, have a blessed Christmas time with your family and friends, drive safe and KTWBIKY!



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