National Weather Service forecasters say a line of storms moving in out of the west this afternoon will bring a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes lasting into the evening.
The National Weather Service is using a new severe weather warning system in Kentucky starting April 1. NWS spokesperson Rick Shanklin says the Impact Based Warning System is primarily for tornado warnings, especially after the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado.
This weekend’s rainfall has briefly alleviated dropping water levels on the Mississippi River, but it didn't put a dent in persisting drought conditions in the area. National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Smith says most places in western Kentucky got 4 to 5 inches but they are still up to 20 inches below average rainfall. The Mississippi River levels are between 12 and 13 feet but Smith expects those levels to drop back to 5 feet in just a few weeks.
New data shows Tennessee had more tornadoes in 2012 than in previous years. The National Weather Service says 34 tornadoes were recorded across the state last year with 20 occurring in March alone. NWS meteorologist Bobby Boyd says the average year brings 21 tornadoes to Tennessee.