Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Louisville, KY
FXUS63 KLMK 250327
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Louisville KY
1027 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
...Mesoscale Forecast Update...
Issued at 1027 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
Scattered thunderstorms continue to roll across the Bluegrass. No
severe weather has been reported in the past four hours. Instead
there have been reports of pea sized hail and well sub-severe wind
gusts. Mesoanalysis shows best low level shear moving into eastern
Kentucky, and only very weak instability and widespread CIN across
While we cannot completely rule out an instance or two of quarter
sized hail and gusty winds with the strongest storms, after
coordinating with SPC and ILN it appears the threat of significant,
widespread severe weather is low enough to drop the watch.
Issued at 954 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
Low level shear continues to manifest itself in broad rotation in
the cells moving across the Blue Grass, but instability is weak and
CIN strong. Went ahead and dropped most of the rest of the watch,
save counties downstream of the best storm which at this writing is
moving into Lexington.
Issued at 722 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
Broken line of thunderstorms will continue to push across the
eastern sections of central Kentucky for the next few hours. Storms
this evening have exhibited gusty but mostly sub-severe winds and
quite a bit of hail but mostly very small. Low level shear has
increased lately east of I-65 and the storm crossing Henry County
shortly after 00Z had persistent broad rotation aloft. Some rotation
aloft showing up over Metcalfe County as well. However CIN has
increased and surface based instability has decreased. MUCAPE and
DCAPE are low as well. Can`t rule out a report or two of 1" hail and
maybe a quick wind gust, especially with storms that are well
organized and show persistent broad rotation aloft. Will re-evaluate
the watch with SPC in the coming hours, at least to shave off the
west side of it.
At 00Z the actual cold front stretched from just west of Huntingburg
to west of Owensboro to west of LBL. The front will charge across
the LMK CWA and cause temperatures to crash into the 30s west of I-
65 and 40s east of the highway by morning.
.Short Term (Now through Saturday Night)...
Issued at 320 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
...Severe Storms Possible This Evening...
Main challenge is timing and impact of strong/severe storms this
evening. 997mb surface low over southern Lake Michigan continues to
draw strong southerly flow into the Ohio Valley, with record
February warmth and wind gusts up to 35-40 mph.
Strong cap in place over Kentucky, with model soundings suggesting
800mb temps near +10C. Thin line of storms over Indiana extending
from near Muncie to Evansville is currently most notable for
producing quite a bit of lightning.
Once the cap breaks, expect rapid development as the mid-level lapse
rates are near 9C/km. Limiting factor will be the ability to match
up the 50-70 kt of effective shear near the front, and the 1000 J/kg
CAPE out ahead of the front. Any window for supercell potential is
quite narrow, but worth keeping an eye on. The more likely scenario
is that storms will organize into a squall line, with damaging winds
as the main threat. SPC Enhanced risk is now focused roughly along
and north of I-64 and east of I-65, where there is a non-zero
tornado threat, which will mostly be tied to brief meso-vortex
spinups within the squall line. Areas west of I-65 have a lesser
threat as it is a narrow window of opportunity for the cap to break
before the forcing moves east.
The cold front will push through around midnight or an hour or two
after, bringing a quick end to the precip. Strong cold advection
behind the front will send temperatures crashing, with Sat morning
readings ranging from just above freezing in southern Indiana to the
lower/mid 40s near the I-75 corridor.
Saturday will be a cloudy and raw day under the cold pool aloft.
Steep low-level lapse rates and just enough low-level moisture will
support at least isolated showers, which could reach the ground as
either rain or snow given cold enough temps in cloud. Minimal
recovery in temps, especially over the Bluegrass region. Look for
gradual clearing Sat night as the mid-level trof exits, and temps
will drop into the 20s, which is actually just a few degrees below
.Long Term (Sunday through Friday)...
Issued at 300 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
Upper-level pattern becomes zonal and the surface high shifts
quickly to the east. Sunday looks like a dry day with temps
recovering to near climo after a chilly start.
As the flow aloft backs to WSW, a series of southern stream
disturbances will swing through, bringing a few different rounds of
precip to the Ohio Valley. Timing is always tricky in such a
progressive pattern, so we`ll keep POPs capped in the likely range
and QPF on the light side. Best chances of rain will be Monday
night, and again on Tuesday night. By Tue night/Wed the pattern is a
bit more amplified, so will see the return of unseasonably warm
temps and also include a slight chance for thunder.
Surface high pressure and broad upper trofiness for the end of the
work week, but heights do not drop that much and temps will run near
climo. Fast-moving trof drops through the Great Lakes on Friday, but
with most of the energy remaining to our north, will not include a
Day 7 POP.
.Aviation (00Z TAF Update)...
Issued at 550 PM EST Fri Feb 24 2017
Gusty SSW winds and high-based cu in place across central Kentucky
to initialize this TAF set. Convection over southern Indiana and
western Kentucky will push eastward and likely increase in coverage
this evening as a strong mid-level cap finally breaks. The spotty
nature of the initial convective line will likely allow storms along
the cold front to hold together as they move in later in the
evening, so will stretch the TEMPO TS groups out until roughly 05-
07Z. Will carry MVFR visibilities in those TEMPO groups, but
thunderstorm cores could result in brief IFR conditions and wind
gusts over 35 kt.
Convection moves out after midnight, giving way to strong cold
advection. Ceilings will be barely VFR for the rest of the night and
most of Saturday, but we could see brief MVFR during the morning
before mixing deepens in the afternoon. Will carry wind gusts in the
20-25 kt range for much of the day as the gradient remains tight.
Light rain or snow showers can`t be ruled out given the steep low-
level lapse rates, but probabilities are too low for the TAFs.