Talk about some wacky weather, a surprise flood that damages millions of dollars worth of property, traps many in their vehicles, and knocks out power to thousands of residents. If you told me last night that we would break the all-time record for a one-hour rainfall today with 6 inches in places around the Metro, I would have told you to see a doctor. So, in the last twelve months we've had a record-breaking wind storm, record-breaking ice storm, and a record-breaking surprise flood. Is this really just another day in the wacky realm of Louisville weather?
Many are asking why, what happened? Why did this eastward line of storms this morning suddenly make a 90-degree southward turn over Southern Indiana and slam Louisville? My answer is about as clear as the one from the rest of the meteorological community at the moment: I don't really know. My guess would be something to do with the lower level jet, which is a rapid stream of wind a few thousand feet off the ground. This jet normally activates at night when there is little to no instability, meaning it can power late-evening thunderstorms with little interference from rising parcels of unstable air. The thunderstorms heading eastward this morning may have come in contact with or lost contact with the lower level jet this morning by some fashion and that may have made a difference in the direction they were moving. Technicalities aside, I've never seen a storm system take a sharp turn like that before and it was about as freak of an event as, say, a wind storm from the remnants of hurricane over Kentucky (oh wait a minute...).
Looks like we're going to see more rain in a few hours here in town, but I don't think it will be as heavy as the deluge we had this morning.