My Forecast For Today ( March 1 )
Update At 3:50 PM: A Squall Line With A History Of Wind Damage Is Moving Across Eastern Kentucky Toward The VA-KY Stateline. Expected Arrival Is Around 5:00-5:30 PM ( give or take 15 minutes ).
The squall line will reach Cumberland Gap by around 4:15 to 4:30 PM and the Norton-Wise area between 5:00 & 5:30 PM.
Previous Overnight Forecast
ALERT For A Dramatic Weather Change From Late This Afternoon Into Wednesday Morning. A Squall Line Of Heavy Rain-Possible Storms Will Give Way To A Wind Shift With ROARING Evening Winds And A Sharp Drop In Temperatures Between 10 PM and Wednesday AM. Lingering Rain Changing To Snow ( A Dusting Up To 2″ Possible On Upslope Side of Mountains – NW Flow ).
*A large change in air pressure will drive a strong cold front across the mountains by late today into Wednesday AM. A squall line of heavy rain-possible thunderstorms will reach the VA-KY stateline by around 5:00 PM, followed by ROARING evening winds as colder air begins to pour into the mountains. Lingering rain showers will change to snow showers, with potential for light accumulations and icy-hazardous conditions ( underfoot and on some roads ) to form between 10 PM Tuesday and sunrise Wednesday. Although snowfall amounts will be light, the sharp temperature drop could form black ice and eventually allow snow showers to stick at the higher elevations ( especially ). Porches-decks-walks, etc…should be checked before stepping out onto them by Wednesday AM.
Overnight Into Tuesday Morning
Mostly clear. Large vertical temperature spread forming between colder valleys and milder middle-upper elevation mountain ridges-plateaus. Winds SSE-SW at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, on mid-upper elevation ridges. Temperatures varying from 20s in colder valleys to upper 30s to mid 40s on exposed mountain ridges and plateaus. Wind chills in the 30s to lower 40s on mountain ridges.
Mid-Morning Through Late Afternoon
Increasing clouds. Becoming windy. A chance for showers by early afternoon. A squall line of heavy rain & possible thunderstorms by late ( around 5 PM give or take an hour ). SSW-SW winds increasing to 15-25 mph, with higher gusts, especially gusty on mid-upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus. Temperatures varying from the 40s to around 50 degrees at highest elevations in the High Knob Massif to the lower-middle 60s in milder locations.
*Although the risk for severe thunderstorms will be locally low, a very dynamic weather system and strong cold front will create an environment where this will need to be closely followed as one or more bands ( or a main squall line ) of showers-thunderstorms will be approaching the mountains from the west & southwest by late afternoon into this evening. Damaging winds are the greatest threat, outside of always dangerous lightning, along with downpours of heavy rainfall upon an already wet ground.
Late Afternoon Into Wednesday Morning
Showers & thunderstorms. Locally heavy rainfall. Some storms may be strong with a possible squall line timed to reach the VA-KY stateline by 5 PM ( give or take 1-Hour ). Winds shifting WNW-NW at 10-20 mph, with gusts of 30- 40+ mph along and behind the cold front. Turning much colder with a sharp temperature plunge from around 10:00 PM into the overnight period. Rain showers changing to snow showers. Temperatures plunging into the low-mid 20s by morning, with low-mid 10s at highest elevations in the High Knob Massif ( milder south toward the Tri-Cities ). Wind chills plunging into single digits & 10s ( locally lower in gusts atop the High Knob Massif ) overnight into the AM.
A wet snow potential, with several inches possible, continues to be watched for the late Thursday into Friday AM period ( March 3-4 ). Stay tuned for updates.
Weather Discussion ( Feb 29 – March 1 )
My Afternoon Update
The focus this afternoon is on a squall line of strong-severe thunderstorms, with a history of wind damage, moving into the Kentucky foothills near the mountains.
Some loud thunder & lightning in Clintwood at 5:11 PM
A 61 mph wind gust reported on Flatwoods Mountain, adjacent to Pine Mountain, near the Virginia-Kentucky stateline at 5:15 PM.
Blinding rain and strong winds in Clintwood at 5:22 PM
It has gotten dark like night with heavy rain and wind at 5:25 PM in Clintwood ( now into Norton-Wise ). Booming thunder with a lightning strike at 5:29 PM.
Another BOOM of thunder with vivid lightning at 5:32 PM.
The line is weakening across the High Knob Massif area.
Wind damage has occurred in London, Ky., including buildings, trees, and at least 1 injury, with passage of this squall line.
Warnings have expired in eastern Kentucky, currently, but the line continues to have a mini-waves indicative of strong winds.
This warning is no longer in effect.
Temperatures remain chilly atop the high mountains this afternoon with middle 40s. This means limited instability with dewpoints in mid 40s to lower 50s across the area.
However, momentum transfer of strong winds aloft will remain possible. ROARING winds will overspread the area tonight behind the cold front.