March appears poised to come in like a lion, according to weather forecasts, and local officials are warning of potential flooding.
Across the region, rain is predicted for Sunday, the first day of the month, adding to the snowmelt as temperatures edge above the freezing mark. Then, late Monday night through Tuesday night, heavy rains are forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Paducah. There is a chance of thunderstorms Tuesday, when the temperature is expected to reach an unseasonably warm 60 degrees. Combined with saturated ground and additional snowmelt, heavy flooding is possible.
"We just got off the (Kentucky Emergency Management) conference call regarding the heavy rains moving in Sunday and the first of the week," Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said this morning. "The warning is to expect heavy flooding due to the rapid melting of the snowpack, as well as the rain that is forecast up to 3 to 4 inches during the first few days of the week."
Hazardous weather is the norm for March across Kentucky. In fact, Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed March as Severe Weather Awareness Month.
But weather is always a threat in Kentucky. There have been a total of 13 presidential major disaster declarations during Gov. Beshear’s time in office, and all have been weather related.
As part of severe weather awareness activities, a statewide tornado drill is being planned in conjunction with the proclamation. However, if severe weather remains in the forecast, the tornado drill will be rescheduled.
The drill is currently set for 9:17 a.m. local time Tuesday. At that time, NWS will issue a tornado warning test message.
Weather alert radios will activate and television and radio stations and mobile devices will broadcast the alert – allowing the public the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.
The broadcast test message will emphasize this is only a test of the alert system.