Potent Storm System to Impact the Area Heading into this Weekend

Short Term Outlook (Thursday – Friday)

A weak area of high pressure at the surface accompanied by upper-level shortwave ridging will keep the Bowling Green area dry for the rest of Thursday. High temperatures today will top out around the 50 degree mark accompanied with mostly cloudy skies. Cloud coverage will be on the increase heading into tonight as a weak disturbance moves in from the west. Shower chances will increase also as this weak storm system races across the region.

Southwest anticyclonic flow at the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere will increase as a persistent area of high pressure continues to build over the Bahamas/Caribbean. This will enhance the transport of moisture at the lower levels of the atmosphere, increasing the shower chances throughout the day on Friday. Rainfall totals on Friday will be on the lighter side with rainfall amounts in between .50-.75 inches.

Figure 1: 12Z NAM 500mb Heights & Winds, Valid for 18Z 02/22/19

Figure 2: 12Z NAM 24 hr Precip. Accumulation, Valid for 03Z 02/23/19

Long Term Outlook (Friday Night-Sunday)

As we head into Friday night waves of moderate to heavy rain will move through the area associated with an approaching warm front moving in from the south. Temperatures on Friday night will hover right around 50 degrees. The approaching warm front is associated with a developing area of low pressure over the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandles. By sunrise on Saturday, the warm front will be over the area, accompanied with moderate to heavy rain showers. By the midday hours on Saturday, The area of low pressure over the Southern Plains will begin to rapidly develop and move northeastward into the Mississippi River Valley.

Figure 3: 18Z NAM 2m Temperature, Winds, Valid for 18Z 02/23/19

The low-level flow behind the warm front will provide ample moisture for some of the energy from the approaching low pressure to tap into. Widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms will be expected throughout the early morning and mid-morning hours on Saturday. The rain is expected to lift north of the area during the afternoon hours allowing temperatures to rise into the middle 60s. Even though there is small break from the rain during the afternoon hours on Saturday, cloud cover will be dominant still, inhibiting the rise in temperatures a little bit.

As the area of low pressure moves through the Great Lakes region late on Saturday, it will drag a cold front through the area. A squall line (long line of thunderstorms, with embedded severe thunderstorms) will likely accompany the cold front as it moves through. Strong-to-damaging winds and very heavy rain will be the dominant impact from this line of thunderstorms, but you can’t rule out a quick spin-up as these storms will have ample wind shear to work with. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has the Bowling Green area highlighted under and ENHANCED risk for severe weather, a 3 out-of 5 on the Categorical Outlook Legend.

Figure 4: SPC Day 3 Categorical Outlook, Valid for 1200Z 02/23 – 1200Z 02/24

Strong winds out of the west will dominate the area heading into Sunday as the cold front departs the region late on Saturday or early Sunday morning. Highs on Sunday will reach the middle 50s with mostly sunny skies. High pressure will move in from the west heading into the beginning part of the work week on Monday, giving the area a chance to dry out after an active week of rain. This upcoming storm system is still over the southwestern part of the US, so details about the rainfall amounts and severe weather impacts could change.

For further updates on the potential for severe weather and heavy rain this weekend, keep up to date with White Squirrel Weather and the WKU Meteorology Blog.

Tonight: Showers. Low around 40. Northeast wind 5 to 7 mph. Precipitation amounts between 0.25-0.50 inches.

Friday: Showers. High in the low 50s. East wind 7 to 10 mph. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Friday Night: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible in the evening. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low around 48. East wind 6 to 8 mph. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Saturday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain and be strong/severe. High near 68. South wind 8 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Sunday: Mostly sunny skies with a high in the middle 50s.

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