EF-2's in Morgan & Russell, & Winter Review

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Updated: 3/01/2012 12:39 pm
Thursday, March 1st, 2012: EF-2 Tornado Confirmed in Morgan County, Plus a Winter Review, And A Look Ahead At Friday's Severe Weather Outbreak

*** MIDDAY UPDATE *** -- NWS LOUISVILLE just confirmed an EF-2 ALSO IN RUSSELL COUNTY.  NO DETAILS ON THAT YET.  SEE BELOW FOR INFO ON THE MORGAN COUNTY EF-2.  ***

Good Thursday morning, folks!

I have plenty to share with you today, and about 10 graphics or so, so I will primarily let them do the talking.

We'll start with a look back at the month of February as a whole.  The 29-day month was a warm one, at least compared to normal.  While we didn't make any top ten lists in Lexington, it was the 9th warmest February in Jackson, KY.

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Many of you weather-watchers are well aware that for statistical purposes, we "celebrate" meteorological winter during the months of December, January and February.  Now that February has ended, we can take a look back at the meteorological winter.  Granted, the snow season isn't entirely over, but this past winter sure has been different from last year, when more than 27" of snow before March 1st.

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The most impressive headline to me was that this was the #1 warmest meteorological winter in Frankfort!  It was also the warmest in Jackson (where the records admittedly only go back to 1981), and we tied the 5th warmest winter in London and tied the 6th warmest in Lexington.  It was also the 8th least snowy December / January / February period in the record books for Lexington.

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Speaking of records, it is fairly easy to break them on Leap Day.  You're four times more likely to break a record on Leap Day, compared to the other days on the calendar.  Since yesterday was unseasonably warm and wet, we broke some records yesterday.  All major reporting sites in the area shattered daily precipitation records yesterday.

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And given some unusually warm overnight low temperatures, and some very warm air on late-February standards, Jackson and London shattered some leap day records. 

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The "BIG DEAL" yesterday wasn't the records that were broken.  Aggressive thunderstorms yielded dozens of reports of severe weather across central and eastern Kentucky.  Three EF-2 tornadoes and one EF-1 tornado were reported to our west, near I-65 in Hardin, Grayson and LaRue Counties in the morning.

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As the storms marched east, dozens of reports of hail and damaging winds came in to the weather center, and in the past thirty minutes, an EF-2 tornado was CONFIRMED in Morgan County.

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Storm Survey crews are continuing to investigate other areas of concentrated damage in Pulaski, as well as near the Russell / Casey County line.  We will soon learn if that damage is also the result of tornadoes, or straight-line winds.

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On the heels of the heavy rain, we do have some high water.  Magoffin County endured some minor flooding after the Licking River closed at least one lane of KY-1090 earlier this morning, but the water has receded.  Meanwhile, the Kentucky River continues to rise in Estill and Lee Counties, where Flood Advisories are in effect.

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The River should crest about 2 feet below flood stage tomorrow, but additional heavy rain is expected with tomorrow's round of severe storms.

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Today's mostly sunny break, thanks to high pressure sliding across Kentucky, will not last long.  This evening and tonight, another round of strong to severe thunderstorms will fire across the Mississippi Valley.

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A very potent storm system will cross the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys tomorrow, with abundant shear (a change in wind direction with height, that can lead to rotating thunderstorms, and increase tornado risk).  A severe weather outbreak IS EXPECTED tomorrow afternoon and evening, region-wide.

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We'll keep you in the loop with the latest, on ABC 36 over the next 36 hours.

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Thanks for stopping by the weather blog.  Enjoy the day, and be safe!

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Geoff

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