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Update On Heat & Storms... More Severe, Sunday?

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Updated: 7/06/2012 11:36 am
Friday, July 6, 2012: Update On Heat & Storms... More Severe, Sunday?

Good Friday morning, folks.  It has been a HOT and STORMY TIME, for some.... meanwhile our most populated counties remain mired in a drought, and we can't seem to get much rain.

Before we look at yesterday's storm reports, take a look at yesterday's high temperatures.

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Records were broken in Lexington, London, Louisville and Bowling Green, and Jackson tied a record high yesterday.  Frankfort didn't quite make it to record territory, but it was hot enough!

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Scenes like this one are very common in southern and southeastern Kentucky this morning.

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Courtesy: Leisa Davis Simpson

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Dozens and dozens of wind damage reports have been filed in southern and eastern parts of our area after some aggressive thunderstorms developed yesterday afternoon.  The thunderstorms fired from Winchester to the east, and from Richmond to the south, leaving the central and northwestern half of the Bluegrass Region dry, mired in the drought without much relief.

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Take a look at all of these storm reports!  The dozens of severe thunderstorm warnings were warranted.  Numerous buildings sustained roof damage, and countless trees fell as the winds gusted over 60 mph in several of the thunderstorms.  One man was injured a couple of miles north of Bernstadt in Laurel County when a tree fell on him.

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<< Late morning update -- NWS Jackson has a storm survey crew in Knott County.  They visited Emmalena, KY, where some of the more significant wind damage occurred.  They estimate winds of 80-100 mph caused the damage due to a downburst, when rain-cooled air raced to the ground and spread out as a horizontal wind near the surface.

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We are in serious need of rain across much of the area.  Emergency Management officials on the state level have issued a Water Shortage Watch for more than two dozen counties, including Fayette and the surrounding area.  Yesterday's storms provided relief for the southeastern half of the area, but not the northwest.  SOME folks did well with the rain, though, with 2.35" in McKee!

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The major reporting sites received a bit less.  (The 1.15" in the Jackson area was reported at the Kentucky Mesonet site, southeast of town.  The following map indicates the Jackson total for the Julian Carrol Airport.)

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Stifling heat will continue for two more days, with highs near 100° today (breaking the 1936 record of 97°), and near 99° tomorrow.  Heat index values will be near 105° during the hottest part of the next few afternoons.

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Heat Advisories, Excessive Heat Warnings & Watches will continue for two more afternoons... before FINALLY, the highly anticipated cold front arrives as next week begins.

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Thunderstorms will be SLIM, today and tomorrow.  A couple of isolated thunderstorms will probably fire, but most likely, they'll be limited to just a few counties, leaving MOST of the area dry.  Organized severe weather will be much closer to the Canadian border today.

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Tomorrow, the severe threat will shift south and east into Ohio, parts of norther West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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... and on Sunday, our severe storm chances will climb significantly as the strong cold front draws near from the northwest.

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I'll post again on Saturday with an update on the heat and the potential for severe weather on Sunday.

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In the meantime, STAY COOL!

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Geoff

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