Thursday Night Storm Risk
The hottest weather since last September has one more day to go before thunderstorms with gusty winds and heavy rains arrive Thursday night. Wednesday’s highs in the upper 80s were last felt around Labor day.
The combination of near-90-degree air, very low desert-like humidity and active winds made for a busy Wednesday of brush fires.
Eastern Kentucky was ground zero for the fires with several blazes exceeding 100 acres. Fires were common late Wednesday night in Southeastern Kentucky where a large fire remained controlled but not out near city park in Dorton, Pike County. Likewise the 2 day old blaze on the Lewis-Greenup line near McDowell creek was contained but not out.
Foresters said “it will take a good rain to extinguish the fires”.
Indeed, the better news for foresters focuses on predicted heavy rains on Thursday night. Then a strong cold front will intercept the hot and suddenly sticky summer-like air to produce a line of gusty storms. Rains should arrive around sunset points west and after dark east with a booster shot of moisture and energy riding up the west side of the mountains early Thursday morning.
Rainfall totals should reach an inch in the heavier downpour areas of Southern and Eastern WV and the Kentucky Coalfields, with Northern Kentucky, Ohio and far Western WV still able to squeeze out a half an inch to locally an inch of water.
While pockets of strong winds and power flickers are inevitable in this clash of air masses, the scope of the damaging winds is likely to be highly localized.
Assuming the thunder squalls form in a linear fashion and maintain their straight line appearance of Doppler radar, the risk of tornadoes will be smaller than in normal spring cases.
Cooler, drier weather will return Friday and hold into the weekend.
Brandon and Josh will have updates all day long.