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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 2-15-23 at 6:00PM EST

Severe weather possible tonight/tomorrow

It definitely doesn't feel like the middle of February today! Most everyone saw high temperatures in the upper 60s to middle 70s. VERY warm for this time of year. The Ohio and Hopkins County Mesonet stations even hit 76! Normal high temps for February 15th are supposed to be in the middle 40s to around 50. Bottom line, this is not normal!

Everyone may be enjoying the nice weather, but this kind of warmth in the middle of winter isn't necessarily a good thing. It's nice now, but conditions take a turn for the worse tonight and tomorrow when Kentucky will see a couple rounds of severe weather.

The first will enter from the south tonight, with showers and storms starting to cross the Tennessee border around 11PM/midnight EST and lifting to the north/northeast. The highest risk for severe weather prior to 7AM tomorrow morning resides across Western KY. Below is a look at that risk, courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center. Damaging winds continues to be the main threat, but large hail and a brief tornado can't be ruled out.

Round 2 is then expected tomorrow morning and into the afternoon/evening hours as a strong cold front pushes through the area from west to east. This looks to be the more intense of the two rounds, prompting an 'Enhanced risk' of severe weather across much of Central KY by the Storm Prediction Center. Again, damaging winds remain as the highest threat, but brief tornadoes and some large hail can't be ruled out. Below is a quick summary from the National Weather Service in Louisville.

Outside of any severe storms, some flooding issues could arise with a good amount of rainfall forecasted across South-Central and Southeastern Kentucky. Below is a look at those forecast accumulations over the next 48 hours from the Weather Prediction Center. Overall, most look to see around an inch, but SE KY could see 2 to 3+.

Activity will diminish following the frontal passage from west to east across the state. Western KY looks to be in the clear by mid-afternoon, Central KY by early evening, and exit Eastern KY later tomorrow night.

Please be sure to have multiple ways to receive warnings, whether that be a NOAA weather radio, outdoor sirens, weather apps, or your favorite local TV meteorologist. If under a warning, don't hesitate and take shelter immediately! Below are some links to each National Weather Service office's briefing slides on the event. Be safe!

Central KY - NWS Louisville

Western KY - NWS Paducah

Eastern KY - NWS Jackson

Looking ahead, we cool off for the end of the workweek, but warm up quickly over the weekend. In fact, look for lows on Friday night in the low to middle 20s, but back into the middle 40s to low 50s Saturday afternoon. 50s statewide on Sunday and some 60s creeping into the area on Monday. Outside of temperatures, our next rain maker holds off until early next workweek. Long-range outlooks for the remainder of February lean toward above normal temperatures and precipitation sticking around.

2023 National Farm Machinery Show

The UK Department of Biosystems and Ag Engineering is back at the National Farm Machinery Show in 2023, running February 15-18th. Come say hi at booth #3444 in the West Wing! Drs. Josh Jackson and Tim Stombaugh are present all week talking about the latest in drone applications, spreader considerations, and as always, a look at UK's quarter scale pulling tractor.

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Related News from UK and Beyond

Spring Hydrologic Outlook 2023 - Louisville National Weather Service Office

Pesticide Storage & Cold Weather - Dr. Ric Bessin, UK Extension Entomology Specialist, February 14, 2023


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