Friday, August 5 2022

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Saturday as heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and high winds affected western, eastern and south-central parts of the State.

The weather caused flash flooding, power outages and damage to public infrastructure and private property, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Tornadoes, flooding and other severe weather are expected to continue Saturday evening in parts of the south caught between a winter storm in the northwest and mild weather in the southeast.

As of Saturday evening, much of Kentucky and West Virginia were under a flood warning. Parts of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were under tornado watch.

The first day of 2022 has become part of a recent wave of wild weather, including devastating tornadoes in several states, torrential rains in Southern California and gusty winds in Colorado that fueled a devastating wildfire.

“Extremely cold wind chills and travel-disrupting snowfall totals, severe storms and flash flooding, (the weather) will result in a treacherous start to 2022,” National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Mullinax said. in an online forecast.

In the south, on New Year’s Day, another round of severe storms hit the region, where dozens of people were killed in tornadoes last month.

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A tornado touched down in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and caused “serious damage” to downtown businesses, the statement said. A possible tornado touchdown was reported in Taylor County, Kentucky, and “many” households were damaged. In Columbia, Kentucky, flash flooding led to water rescues on Saturday, WBKO-TV reported.

“It is devastating that we are facing extreme weather again just weeks after the killer tornadoes hit western Kentucky. Unfortunately, some counties were impacted by both of these events,” Beshear said in the statement. .

In northern Georgia, a tornado hit Newton County Friday night, downing power lines, flipping vehicles and uprooting trees, according to the National Weather Service in Atlanta. The storm damaged a school building and left a handful of people slightly injured, the Covington News reported.

“Life-threatening” flash flooding, tornadoes, high winds and large hail were possible from parts of the lower Mississippi Valley in the Tennessee and Ohio valleys over the weekend, according to the forecast from the Weather Prediction Center. The cities most at risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes late Saturday were Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta.

“The main window for damage from gusty winds, a few brief tornadoes and hail is AT NIGHT,” the National Weather Service in Atlanta said. noted on Twitter. “Please make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings tonight before you go to bed, and keep your phone/weather radio volume at a level that will wake you up if warnings come up!”

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Mississippi can expect damaging wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph with large hail up to the size of a golf ball. Tornadoes will also be possible. The threat of severe weather is greatest in northern Mississippi, the NWS reported.

The severe weather in the south comes as winter storm warnings were in place for parts of nine states, from the Four Corners region to the central plains, and snowfall preventing travel was possible in at least 18 states, reported AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

In Chicago, 800 flights were canceled Saturday at O’Hare Airport and more than 250 at Midway Airport due to winter weather, as well as staffing shortages related to the coronavirus.

Heavy snow was expected to spread from the central plains to the Mississippi Valley and the lower Great Lakes. Up to a foot of snow was likely from northeast Kansas to the Chicago metro area, according to forecasts from the Weather Prediction Center. Freezing rain and ice pellets were possible from eastern Kansas through central and northern Missouri and west-central Illinois.

“We continue to see snow piling up on the roads,” the National Weather Service in Chicago said. noted on Twitter Saturday afternoon, warning of steady snowfall throughout the evening.

Severe cold is expected to continue across much of the north-central United States, where wind chill readings will drop to as low as 50 below zero in some areas, including Montana and North Dakota, over the next few days . “Dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes,” the National Weather Service warned.

Downed trees and limbs lie smashed in the grass outside Ashton Park Apartments off Scottsville Road in Bowling Green, Ky., after another tornado warning was issued Saturday morning.

At the same time, unusual heat could bring hundreds of record high temperatures to the southeastern United States, the weather service said. Record highs were forecast for southern and eastern Texas on Saturday and across much of the Gulf Coast, southeast and Florida — and from Florida to the mid-Atlantic on Sunday. Temperatures are expected to soar into the spring 70s and 80s.

The first weekend of 2022 comes after storms inundated Southern California on Thursday as downtown Los Angeles recorded record rainfall on December 30 with 2.57 inches, breaking the previous daily record set in 1936, according to the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, extreme winds in Colorado fueled devastating wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes. Snow helped firefighting efforts Friday, but complicated recovery efforts Saturday, when the city of Superior shut off water to burned areas to prevent pipes from freezing.

Contributor: Mississippi Clarion-Ledger; The Associated Press


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