12:30 P.M. Thursday, Feb.17,2022
Powerful upper air system – weak surface low pressure. That pretty well sums up today’s weather pattern. Those upper winds will translate to the surface this afternoon and evening. Most of Kentucky will see gusts of 40-50 mph between 3 P.M. and 7 P.M. The strongest wind gusts will be over southern and eastern KY. Southern Indiana winds will most likely be in the 35-45 mph range. Expect to see scattered power outages and downed trees/limbs as well.
Heavy rains will be likely throughout the area this afternoon. One to two inches possible in some spots (especially north of the Ohio River) in just a few hours. Flash flood prone areas will likely see some flooding.
The biggest question regarding this system is the possibility of severe thunderstorms. Sometimes very strong dynamics will overwhelm weak (or no) instability and do all the work itself. Most likely, this system will be one of the overachievers. But, luckily, not for the Louisville area or southern Indiana.
A weak surface low pressure is expected roll up the Ohio River this afternoon/evening. That provides us protection from severe thunderstorms. However, along and south of the Western KY Parkway, enough instability will probably develop to allow damaging thunderstorms. High winds will be the primary threat.
This type of system has a history of strong nighttime tornado outbreaks over the deep south. Tonight should be no exception. Most of Mississippi, northern Alabama and western Tennessee have the highest risk.