Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Louisville, KY

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary Off
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

FXUS63 KLMK 250423

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Louisville KY
1123 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018

.Mesoscale Update...
Issued at 1123 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018



A large area of light to moderate rain with embedded lines of
torrential rain continues to push across southern Indiana and
central Kentucky. Intense rainfall rates will lead to flash
flooding, which is particularly dangerous at night. Many flash flood
warnings and river flood warnings are in effect across southern
Indiana and north central Kentucky. This is a high-end, unusually
dangerous flooding situation.

Storms over southern Kentucky were showing significant rotation
earlier but now radar presentations are trending more toward a
straight-line wind threat. In north central Kentucky there is still
a wind threat with small bowing segments moving eastward along the I-
64 corridor.


.Forecast Update...
Issued at 1006 PM EST sat Feb 24 2018

SPC has issued a Tornado Watch for much of central and southern
Kentucky ahead of a squall line moving in from the west. The line
had been showing various LEWPs and bowing segments as it crossed
from Missouri into the lower Ohio Valley. The best chances for
tornado spin-ups from here forward will be in the southern two tiers
of counties north of the Tennessee border in region of very strong
shear and weak instability. KLVX and KOHX VWPs have been showing low
level winds increasing as the low level jet moves in and

Torrential rain and severe flash flooding are also expected,
especially across southern Indiana and north central Kentucky.
Louisville, with its reduced drainage efficiency typical of urban
areas, has already seen severe flooding. With the new downpours
working in, severe to potentially catastrophic flash flooding will
be possible. It is in everyone`s best interest to not be out on the
roads as this very heavy rain moves through the Louisville metro,
southern Indiana, and north central Kentucky.

Issued at 736 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018



At 7pm strengthening low pressure was near the western tip of
Illinois with a warm front reaching east into the Ohio Valley
roughly along I-64. The front has been lifting north as its parent
low lifts quickly on its way to the upper Great Lakes.

A cold front dropped from that low southward through the Ozarks to
east Texas. That cold front will sweep through the region tonight,
accompanied by a line of strong, possibly severe, storms.

Though instability will be weak, low level shear will become
extremely strong as the low level jet cranks up this evening /50kt @
925, 70kt @ 850, 0-6km bulk shear 60-70kt/, leading to the
possibility of squall line tornadogenesis into the overnight hours.

Flash flooding will also be a major concern. 1hr FFG values are
under an inch in many locations, especially along and north of I-64.
Severe flooding has already taken place in metro Louisville. When
the line of strong storms comes through it will produce intense
rainfall rates that will generate rapid nighttime flash flooding. It
will also generate quick rises on small creeks and streams.


.Short Term...(Tonight through Sunday night)
Issued at 200 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018


A potentially significant weather event will unfold across central
Kentucky and southern Indiana over the next 12-18 hours.

***Flash Flooding Potential***

First, antecedent conditions have primed the area for a significant
flash flooding risk. The past 4 to 7 days most of the area has
picked up well over 5 inches of rain, especially along the Ohio
River counties. Latest flash flood guidance shows 1 to 3 hour values
of 1 inch, or less, in many areas. Some of these values may not be
representative given the significant river flooding ongoing and high
backwater flooding. Basically, the area can`t take much more water
and the rare WPC high risk highlights well the greatest risk.

The latest hi-res models show convection moving into central KY and
southern IN beginning mid/late afternoon on the nose of the
increasing 850 mb moisture transport. This convection will be along
the axis of high PWATs, and this morning`s OHX sounding 1.43 inches
was near a record for the month of February. Warm cloud depths are 3
to 3.5 km, which is extremely significant for mid/late February.
Basically, the atmosphere has rare amounts of moisture and the
thunderstorms will be extremely efficient rain producers.
Showers/thunderstorms are expected to train along the stalled warm
front, which will likely be along the I-64 corridor through late
this evening.

Additional rainfall amounts of 1.5 to 2 inches are expected with
localized higher amounts a certainty. 4 to even 6 inch amounts not
out of the question across north-central KY and parts of southern
IN. Extreme care and attention should be given to any areal flood or
flash flood warnings that are issued. Remember, flash flooding is
the leading cause of weather related deaths in the United States!

***Damaging Wind / Tornado Potential***

Latest mesoanalysis shows the 1000 mb surface-based CAPE line now
creeping into southern Kentucky where the dewpoints have risen into
the mid 60s. Visible satellite imagery from GOES-East shows pockets
of clearing across middle TN and south-central KY which has allowed
temperatures to climb into the low/mid 70s.

Regional radar shows a few lines of convection beginning to develop
across western KY and extreme southwest KY, that will move
east/northeast into parts of the area by mid afternoon. As this
convection grows in the increasing unstable environment and
interacts with the warm front, will have to watch for severe threat
potential through this evening. A window for a small (but increased)
tornado threat will occur with these storms as they still remain
surface based within the warm sector and the LLJ begins to ramp up
and lead to increased clockwise low-level hodographs (i.e.,
increased storm relative helicity).

Then, later this evening into the overnight hours, the second wave
of severe weather is anticipated. Deep layer and low level shear
increase substantially during the overnight hours ahead of the line,
with 0-6km shear approaching 60kts while 0-1km shear approaches 40-
50kts. While instability will remain low (<500J/KG), it will
probably be sufficient to keep storms strong to severe along/west of
I-65. As they pass east of I-65 into the Bluegrass region,
instability wanes, and most models weaken the line. With such a
strong low level wind field, straight line damaging wind gusts will
be the most likely severe threat. With very saturated soils, would
not be surprised to see reports of trees toppling over even in sub-
severe winds (i.e. 40 to 50 mph gusts).

There will also be a threat for quick spin-up tornadoes within the
line, especially in bowing segments where the rear inflow jet
descends or surging outflow contribute to the development of
mesovortices. The orientation of the 0-3km shear vector will
generally favor tornadic mesovortices on the northern end of these
bowing segments or broken lines.

*** Confidence ***

Confidence is very high that significant flash flooding will occur
across north central KY and portions of southern Indiana as waves of
heavy rain train over these same areas that have been hardest hit
the past week. Confidence in damaging winds lies between
medium/high, especially along/west of I-65 in Kentucky. The tornado
threat is low/medium generally across portions of south-central KY,
generally west of I-65.


.Long Term...(Monday through Saturday)
Issued at 145 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018

...Active Weather Potentially Mid to Late Week...

High pressure across the lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will
bring a couple of drier, less active days to the region. A southern
stream system will pass just to the south of Kentucky as it heads
into the Appalachians Monday / Monday night. High pressure will then
remain in control for Tuesday. Plan on highs in the 60s with lows in
the 30s to around 40.

By late Tuesday night into Wednesday, the upper level pattern begins
to amplify as a southwest US trough digs into western Texas. The
southwest flow downstream will bring increasing Gulf moisture
northward with PWATs expected to climb back over 1.2 inches across
middle TN and portions of central KY. An area of low pressure is
forecast to develop across the central Plains and then rapidly
deepen as the upper trough becomes negatively tilted before lifting
to the Chicago area. A cold front is forecast to sweep across the
area sometime Wednesday / Wed Night / Thursday. Showers and some
thunderstorms will be possible. It`s too early to speculate on
severe thunderstorm potential as timing the frontal passage remains
uncertain but the synoptic setup does give the potential.

Widespread rainfall of 1 to 2 inches is currently forecast but with
the convective nature there could be locally higher amounts.
Regardless, any additional rainfall could renew or aggravate ongoing
flooding and river flooding concerns across the area despite a
couple of drier days leading up to this event.

Beyond that, upper troughing and high pressure Friday into next
weekend could bring a cooler but also drier pattern. Temperatures
look to be back around normal or slightly below normal.


.Aviation...(06Z TAF Issuance)
Issued at 638 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018

At 23Z an east-west warm front was just south of the Ohio River and
a strong cold front was crossing the Ozarks. Both fronts were
anchored by a low pressure center near UIN. That low will race into
the upper Great Lakes tonight and swing the cold front through
southern Indiana and central Kentucky during the late night hours.

The warm front will be accompanied by widespread moderate rain with
embedded thunder. Winds will shift from ENE to SE as the front
pushes north across HNB/SDF/LEX.

The cold front will be preceded by a solid but narrow line of
strong thunderstorms that will bring gusty winds, torrential rain,
and low ceilings. BWG and SDF should receive the worst of this line.
HNB may be a bit north of the most intense storms, and the storms
may be starting a slow decline by the time they get to LEX...though
will still be strong enough to negatively impact aviation.

Will include the LLWS ahead of the storms as the low level jet
really cranks up. We may see 2k` winds of 50-60kt coming in from the
southwest developing this evening.

Low clouds will linger for a few hours behind the departing storms,
but then weak high pressure over the middle and lower Mississippi
Valley will give us much quieter weather for the remainder of the
TAF period. We will hold onto a west breeze tomorrow, though, around
10 knots.


Updated at 157 PM EST Sat Feb 24 2018

Copious amounts of rainfall have led to excessive runoff and river
flooding in many locations over southern Indiana and central
Kentucky. Additional rainfall of 1.5 to 2 inches is expected across
southern Indiana and north central Kentucky. There will be localized
higher amounts, with the potential for 4 to even 6 inch amounts not
out of the question.

This additional rainfall will result in further rises on area
rivers, streams, and creeks. River flooding will worsen over the
coming days. Many rivers will achieve moderate flood stage and the
Rolling Fork River at Boston will go into major flood stage.

For a complete list with forecast hydrographs, please visit our
website at:

A Flood Watch remains in effect through Sunday morning. There will
likely be areal and flash flood warnings issued this evening and
tonight. Low-lying, urban, small stream, and potentially places that
don`t typically flood, could see high water. The worst of this event
will happen at night, which makes it even potentially more
significant. We can`t stress enough the flood safety messages of
never driving through flooded waters. It`s impossible to tell how
deep or fast water is flowing across roads. Never go around
barricades, and if you come across flooded areas, just turn around.

While a 3 day reprieve (Sunday-Tuesday) will certainly help,
additional rainfall mid-week could worsen, aggravate, or hold high
water crests further into the future. Right now, the blended
forecast shows between 1 and 2 inches possible across the area. Stay
tuned to the latest forecasts as confidence increases in the
rainfall amounts.


IN...Flood Watch until 7 AM EST /6 AM CST/ Sunday for INZ076>079-083-

KY...Flood Watch until 7 AM EST /6 AM CST/ Sunday for KYZ023>043-



Short Term...ZT
Long Term...ZT
Hydrology...ZT is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.