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Rain in the forecast expected to help slow wildfires in eastern Kentucky

Estill County EMA/CSEPP

Two meteorological events are meeting up in eastern Kentucky to provide some relief from wildfires.

Philomon Geertson is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. Geertson said remnants from Tropical Storm Nicole are moving into the region from the Bahamas.

“And as that moves northwest it’s going to be interacting with a fairly strong cold front coming into the Ohio Valley and as those two come together, we’re looking for a fairly widespread soaking rainfall Thursday night into Friday,” said Geertson.

Geertson explained that rain will help hydrate ground fuel and slow the fires in eastern Kentucky.

The meteorologist said much of the region will get one and a half to two inches of rainfall, but some areas may get less than that.

“Areas closer to the Virginia border might be shadowed a bit by the higher mountains off to the southeast and that could cut in to the totals a little bit over far southeastern Kentucky. But yeah, we’re definitely looking at a good soaking rain which is really good news considering all the wildfires we’ve got going on,” said Geertson.

Geertson said humidity levels have been in the lower teens, and even in the upper single digits in some areas. That and warmer temperatures have contributed to the wildfires.

The region is looking at a significant cool-off after the rainfall event. Saturday night lows will be in the mid 20s to lower 30s. Geertson said highs Sunday are expected to be in the mid 40s, which is more typical of a January day.

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Samantha was a reporter and All Things Considered Host from 2019 to 2023. Sam is also a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station.
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