This morning’s gray skies were expected to turn black and violent this afternoon, with central Kentucky targeted as epicenter for potentially deadly storms making their way across the country’s mid section.
On this morning’s “Today Show,” weatherman Al Roker placed a “severe risk” graphic squarely over the state on his national weather map.
Over at weather.com, severe weather expert Greg Forbes singles out central Kentucky with a 9 rating on his Tornado Conditions Index, which comes with a “high probability of a tornado.” It’s the first time he’s given a 9 in March.
The Weather Channel’s star storm chaser, Jim Cantore, is headed to Lexington today, according to his Twitter feed.
Boyle County Emergency Management Coordinator Lennie Shepperson participated in a statewide conference call with National Weather Service meteorologists Thursday afternoon and sent out emails to the county leaders advising them to keep a close eye on the weather today.
“There is a possibility tomorrow’s weather could be worse in areas than yesterday’s weather,” the email states. “We dodged the bullet yesterday but may not be so lucky tomorrow. Remember Mother Nature has her own mind on how she does things. Don’t let your guard down because it might look like it will not hit us.”
According to the NWS forecast, the Danville area was in the path for potentially severe storms this morning, but weather prognosticators are more concerned about what’s headed this way between 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“Super cells could form that could form tornadoes in the afternoon as the cold air from northeast meets with the warn air from the south. Possible high damaging winds,” Shepperson’s email states. There are a lot of uncertainties in this storm to be able to tighten down the severity or timeline. Per NWS, there is a possibility it could form farther east and to the south. Rainfall will depend on severity of storm.
“THERE MAY BE MULTIPLE TORNADO WARNINGS ISSUED TOMORROW. Keep someone glued to the weather radios.”
In a telephone interview this morning, Shepperson cautioned that people need to be prepared to take shelter quickly in such an intense weather situation. Dangerous conditions can pop up quickly, even outside areas that radar indicates are in the eye of a storm, he said.
“One thing we’ve got to remember is that we’re dealing with Mother Nature here, and it’s very unpredictable. Just because it may not look bad on the radar doesn’t mean it can’t happen here,”¿he said. “There’s always the possibility of tornadoes with this type of storm.”
“We’ve been very fortunate in Boyle County over the years. Mercer and Lincoln counties have been hit several times, but it’s been ages and ages since we’ve been hit. One of these times, we’re gonna get slammed.”
The NWS confirmed EF2 tornadoes touched down in Casey and Russell counties on Wednesday, among the 11 that were unleashed upon the state two days ago as storms whipped through the Midwest and South, killing 13 people in other states.