Threat of Flooding Rises Across Kentucky

Feb 12, 2020

Credit National Weather Service

The entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is under a flash flood watch as rains move in Wednesday afternoon and evening.

A low-pressure system originating in Texas has moved up through the Mississippi Valley gathering moisture from the Gulf and the Pacific, said Brian Schoettmer, National Weather Service Meteorologist in Louisville.

“It’s basically like a steady stream of moisture over the area then you get a surge of surface low [pressure] that moves up from Texas that brings that last little punch in,” Schoettmer said.

Eastern and Southeastern portions of Kentucky are expected up bear the brunt of the moisture with up two inches of rain overnight.  There’s also a potential for damaging wind gusts.

Much of the state has already seen a wetter than average year with Louisville .68 inches above normal, Lexington 1.85 inches above normal, and Bowling Green three inches above normal for this time of year, Schoettmer said.

The rains coming Wednesday afternoon and evening are again soaking areas that received an emergency declaration for flooding last week raising the risk for further flooding.

“Again, their ground is just… they can’t handle that with how much rain they’ve had recently,” Schoettmer said.

Louisville is expected to see one to 1.5 inches of rain mostly in the afternoon and evening hours. The Ohio River is expected to reach minor flood stage on Friday as overnight lows dip into the teens.

The weather is expected to dry out over the weekend, though the Ohio River isn’t expected to crest until early next week.