Kentucky’s risk for tornadoes is low Tuesday, ‘but not zero.’ Expect wind gusts, rain

National Weather Service

A tornado outbreak is possible across much of the South Tuesday, and while the risk is slight or even marginal across most of Kentucky – it’s not zero, National Weather Service meteorologist CJ Padgett warns.

“We could still have a few tornadoes,” Padgett told the Herald-Leader in an interview Monday afternoon.

The chance for tornadoes is greater in the western half of the state compared to Central Kentucky, where Padgett said strong winds and perhaps some hail are more of a possibility.

There is also a very small risk for some flash flooding, Padgett added, but with wind gusts expected to be as high as 50 miles per hour, the rain likely won’t have the opportunity to accumulate over any particular area before it’s blown away.

Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s chance of severe weather and how to prepare.

What’s the severe weather forecast for Tuesday?

An outbreak of tornadoes is possible for the South beginning Tuesday afternoon and lasting into the night, bringing strong, long-track tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and flash floods.

The most favorable area for these conditions – including the possibility of powerful tornadoes – is a broad swath across the lower Mississippi Valley. This includes an oval that encompasses northeast Louisiana, eastern Arkansas and the western half of Tennessee, along with northern and central Mississippi.

Cities that could see severe weather Tuesday include Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., Tupelo and Jackson, Miss., and Alexandria and Monroe, La., according to The Weather Channel.

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Mid to late afternoon through the early overnight hours Tuesday is the expected peak time for tornadoes.

How will Tuesday’s severe weather affect Kentucky, if at all?

The NWS forecast for the Lexington area calls for partly sunny conditions during the day Tuesday, with a high of about 64 degrees. Wind gusts could reach as high as 28 miles per hour during the day.

The wind picks up Tuesday night, with gusts expected to reach about 37 miles per hour.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible during the evening and overnight hours, with a low around 38 degrees. New rainfall could reach up to a quarter or half of an inch, per the NWS.

The risk of flash flooding is low across much of Kentucky due to persistent drought like conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In his own forecast Monday, WKYT Meteorologist Chris Bailey called wind damage “the main threat here in Kentucky with the tornado threat much lower. The greatest tornado risk is from western Tennessee down the lower Mississippi River Valley.”

“Gusts to 50 miles per hour will be possible through Tuesday night and some models are showing gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour” in Central Kentucky, Bailey added.

What should I do to prepare for the worst?

According to Padgett, the best thing you can do is to make sure you have multiple ways to receive accurate severe weather updates.

One way to do this for iPhone users is to navigate to your phone’s settings, select notifications, then scroll down to “government alerts,” Padgett said. Here, you can toggle Amber Alerts, public safety alerts, test and emergency alerts.

“You definitely just want to stay up to date on the weather forecasts,” Padgett said.

Do you have a question about weather in Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email ask@herald-leader.com.

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