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Storms Weaken Upon Arrival... A Windy Monday

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Updated: 1/23/2012 10:47 am

**** Late update:  A delayed report of trees down has just come in (around 10:45 AM).  Trees are down in the Liberty area of Casey County.  Estimated time of damage: 4 AM. **** - Geoff

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Midmorning Update... Monday, January 23, 2012: Storms Weaken Upon Arrival, A Windy Monday


We dodged a bit of a bullet across the area, early this morning, as a squall line with severe thunderstorms to our west weakened fairly dramatically as it slid east.  Storms lost severe characteristics near Highway 127.

Here is a recap of storm reports across the Southeastern US, so far.

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Storm reports indicate that at least four people have died in Alabama, and Jefferson County (AL) officials are still trying to determine how many people have been injured in this morning's storms.  Numerous tornado reports came in from Arkansas and Mississippi, as well as Tennessee last night and very early this morning as well.  Most of the hail reports were in the central and southern part of the cluster of severe storms, where instability was a bit higher.  The dynamics, or upper-level support that helped to drive these storms, provided enough firepower to produce dozens of damaging wind reports across western Kentucky. 

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The storms sharply weakened as they moved from I-65 toward I-75.  Around 3:15 AM, three severe thunderstorm warnings were active along the western part of our area.  One included western Boyle County, another included Mercer County, and a third was in effect for areas near Adair County.  A tree was downed by the winds near Riley, which is about 6 miles east of Lebanon in Marion County, early this morning.  To the east, the more stable environment was enough to weaken these storms and at 3:45 AM (Eastern), they each expired and no additional severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in our area.

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While these gusts did not meet severe wind criteria, winds did whip the rain with some intensity early this morning as the squall line crossed Kentucky.  Here are our peak wind gusts so far today. 

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While today's winds will probably not be as strong as those that accompanied the squall line, it will remain gusty.  The actual cold front remains to our west this morning, and it will sweep across central and eastern Kentucky around midday.  Look for winds to remain active, with gusts to around 40 mph at times today.  In light of this, the entire area remains under Wind Advisories (central and northern parts of Kentucky) and Lake Wind Advisories (most of eastern Kentucky).

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Winds will diminish this evening and overnight tonight, they should return to the 5-10 mph range.

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Along with the wind-related alerts, Estill County remains under a Flood Advisory today as the Kentucky River continues to run high.  Initially, Friday night's heavy rain in eastern Kentucky caused the Kentucky River to rise to near flood stage, cresting a foot below flood stage yesterday.  It has fallen slightly, and this morning is about 3' below flood stage.

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The heavy rain from last night and this morning will delay the river's fall through midweek.

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Breathe easy, and prepare for a windy day.  We got off easy here in the Bluegrass, but our neighbors in Alabama did not.  Keep them in your thoughts and prayers this morning.

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Thanks for stopping by the weather blog.  Have a great start to your week.

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Geoff

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