Clouds helped spare WAVE Country from Sunday tornadoes - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Clouds helped spare WAVE Country from Sunday tornadoes

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Dark storm clouds over Louisville on November 17. Dark storm clouds over Louisville on November 17.
Lauren Jones Lauren Jones
Christie Dutton Christie Dutton
Damage left by the November 17, 2013 tornado outbreak across Illinois and Indiana. Damage left by the November 17, 2013 tornado outbreak across Illinois and Indiana.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's been said "the sun always shines brightest after a storm." Throughout Kentuckiana, that saying rang true Monday after the storms and tornados Sunday that terrorized much of the Midwest. It turns out, that sunshine may have helped fuel those storms' strength.

"Sunshine plays a huge role in how strong the storms were yesterday and we really lucked out," said WAVE 3 News Meteorologist Lauren Jones. "Off to the west and even to our north in Indiana and Illinois, they had sunshine break out before the cold front came through. So, that was the perfect setup to see severe weather. For us though, we did see a lot of cloud cover yesterday. So, that kind of limited our severe weather threat."

While the cloud coverage lessened the chances for severe weather in WAVE Country, it did not render it impossible.

"Certainly, we can have severe weather setups any time during the year, even during the middle of winter," began WAVE 3 News Meteorologist Christie Dutton. "But with that contrast of the cold air, the warm air coming along with that front yesterday, it was a setup where we had enough instability in the atmosphere. We had enough share that we were concerned about wind damage and also the concern for tornados."

Those tornados leap-frogged WAVE Country, but touched down to our west in Corydon, Kentucky and near Paducah.

"We started to see those storms starting to barrel down through southern Indiana," pointed out Dutton while examining radar from Sunday.

"We lucked out here in WAVE Country," began Jones, "but big time damage to the north and west."

"They are still now picking up," said Dutton. "They are still confirming tornadoes. The National Weather Service goes out, assesses the damage, and confirms those tornados. We've already had one EF4 confirmed in Washington, Illinois. "

As communities work to pick up the pieces of their hometowns their and lives, many people here in WAVE Country remain grateful things were not worse.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved. 

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