Will Hurricane Irma impact the state of Kentucky?
It looks very likely that the answer to this question is yes, but to what degree and what level is still up in the air.
The current forecast track for the monster hurricane from the National Hurricane Center clearly predicts the storm will, as a weakened tropical system, eventually make its way to Kentucky by the middle of next week. David Marsalek, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in West Virginia, said residents of Kentucky need to be vigilant about potentially significant rainfalls, but it is a little early yet to be able to definitively say exactly how much rain could fall.
"We are going to have to be vigilant to watch for the potential amounts of rainfall," said Marsalek, adding the rainfall totals -- if the hurricane continues to track on the projected path — would be roughly "middle two inches across the south (of Kentucky) while in the Ashland area it could be one inch or so."
Marsalek cautioned, though, that a lot can change with the Hurricane's path. What is known is that by the time it reaches Kentucky, it most certainly will not bring with it devastating winds expected when it first makes landfall in Florida. Instead the storm will be greatly weakened although it could still bring significant rain.
"The potential for rain is there," Marsalek said. "Stay vigilant...as typical with weather (systems) as you are get closer to them, you can lock onto solutions a little bit better and a lot can happen between now and when it makes landfall and makes it to the Tennessee Valley. The evolution of the system, as it decays, could change the forecast. We are keeping a close eye on it."