July 7: More Rain?


Last night and this morning brought some incredible rain totals to southern Kentucky and northern Middle Tennessee.  The radar-estimated rain totals are substantial…yellow-shaded areas picked up more than 2″ (enough to cause problems), red-shaded areas picked up 4″ (enough to cause significant flooding), and the purple-shaded areas picked up 6+” (that’s too much for a MONTH, much less 24 hours):

As I type this between 9am and 10am, numerous flood advisories and flood warnings are in effect…and there could be more on the way!  All morning, we’ve kept a close eye on a storm complex in Missouri that was diving down to the southeast — i.e., towards us.  But the latest radar trends show that system pushing due east, which would keep the heaviest rain this afternoon and this evening off to our north.  The latest run of Futurecast shows exactly that scenario:
The HRRR model more-or-less agrees with that assessment, but it does bring some very unwelcome rain to southern Kentucky this evening:

Let’s not celebrate just yet, though.  (The Wolf from Pulp Fiction would phrase it more colorfully, but this is a family blog.)  Everything hinges on how much we clear out and warm up this afternoon.  If the clouds linger and we only warm up to the 80s, the atmosphere won’t be as favorably aligned for additional strong storms and heavy rain.  But we’re already clearing out (again, literally as I type these words) — if we warm up to the low 90s, storms will pop farther south of what the models indicate, in the unstable air over the Midstate.  More ominously, the atmosphere will be re-charged for additional wind damage, additional heavy rain and flooding, and additional problems in general.

In their 8am update, the Storm Prediction Center bumped us up to an “Enhanced Risk” (level 3 of 5) for severe weather in the northern half of the Midstate, with the remainder of the area in a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5).
The main severe threat will be damaging wind, but of course ANY additional rainfall on top of the already-saturated ground would be very bad news.  As such, the National Weather Service has posted a Flash Flood Watch until 10pm:

So, things could go either way.  (I know, you HATE when we say that.)  The best advice is “plan for the worst, hope for the best” — be ready for more severe storms and flooding, but there’s still a decent chance we’ll be able to avoid those problems.  But…I’m nervous.

And we have more thunderstorm chances throughout the 7-day forecast:
No particular day brings us a guarantee of rain, but northern Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky are going to remain very sensitive to additional rainfall until we get a couple of consecutive dry days to recover.



Obviously no time for anything but weather in my life today…the nerd-links will return tomorrow!


About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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