Rain and storm chances increase Friday with strong storms possible in Southeastern Kentucky

Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible mainly east and south of Lexington Friday afternoon

Oaks and Derby Day are upon us and of course Mother Nature is trying to crash the party as another significant storm system impacting the Ohio Valley Friday and Saturday. While Oaks Day shouldn’t be a complete washout, we will see several rounds of showers and storms with heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds not only over at Churchill Downs in Louisville but across all of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

In fact the threat for strong to severe storms has increased, especially for areas to the east and south of Lexington on Friday afternoon. Based on the model data, an area of storms should be on-going around daybreak Friday morning across the Eastern mountains before moving out. The air should be stabilized for a brief period of time, but with the sunshine expected to return by early afternoon, this should help fuel additional storm development as an area of low pressure spins through the state.

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The Storm Prediction Center has much of Eastern Kentucky in a Level 2 risk (out of 5) for severe storms Friday with the Lexington Metro area north and west in a Level 1 risk. A few things to keep in mind with this set-up. The possibility of large hail is a bit higher than usual due to the freezing level in the atmosphere a little closer to the ground. Also given the “spin” with the area of low pressure coming right across Eastern Kentucky, some of the storms should be able to rotate so damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be possible. Stay with ABC36 for the latest updates Friday afternoon and evening.

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Heading into Derby Day, the upper level energy on the backside of the surface low will bring cooler air in for Saturday with clouds and a few lingering showers possible. The good news for patrons at Churchill Downs is that other than a few spotty showers and/or drizzle early Saturday morning, the weather should improve through the day with dry conditions and hopefully a fast track when the gates open for the 148th Kentucky Derby.

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Looking down the road, a dry and warmer stretch of weather is on the way with temperatures pleasant for Mother’s Day with highs in the low 70s. The much-advertised summer-like warm-up is on the way next week with tranquil conditions and afternoon highs climbing into the low 80s!

THURSDAY NIGHT: Occasional rain and storms. Lows in the low-60s.
FRIDAY: Scattered storms, some strong southeast late. Highs in the mid to upper 70s.
FRIDAY NIGHT: More showers, some thunder. Lows in the mid-50s.

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