Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:39AM

Moderate risk

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The tornado threat has shifted westward, with the SPC focusing a higher wind threat over western Kentucky and Tennessee.

SPC severe storm risk for Tuesday

SPC tornado risk for Tuesday

The winds at all levels still look very intense. Directional shear (turning of winds with height) is not great, despite the good wind speeds. Here are the RUC forecasts for 850mb (closer to the surface) and 500mb (midlevels). Even without storms, some of these winds making it to the ground could be enough to cause damage.

Satellite imagery shows no areas of clearing east of the frontal boundary, which means the limited instability conditions will be the norm. Limited instability means limited lightning, although there still should be a few strikes as far east as central Kentucky. It's doubtful West Virginia will see much if any lightning tonight.

As for the chase target I said I'd be picking around this time, right now it's looking like my front porch. With no areas of sun breaking through, nothing looks impressive enough now to drive into Kentucky, as the best conditions are much too far west (a good 6 hour drive one way). By the time the squall line passes Lexington late tonight, it will be weakening and likely losing most of its lightning. The RUC even suggests that there may be nothing left of the line by the time it gets to the WV border, with the NAM showing a broken line of heavy rain over us by midnight. The best thing to do now seems to wait and see what the squall line looks like later this afternoon as it moves into central Kentucky.

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