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The Tri-County, as well as the entire Commonwealth, is expected to have severe thunderstorms late this afternoon and evening with the possibility of damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and heavy rainfall.

A wind advisory is in effect from 5 p.m. Thursday to 8 a.m. Friday for all of eastern Kentucky.

The National Weather Service predicted the Tri-County to see isolated to scattered thunderstorms with some of these storms becoming severe and may produce damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes.

The greatest threat for isolated tornadoes will be near and west of a Middlesboro to the Mount Vernon line, the hazardous weather outlook by the National Weather Service said.

"Outside of these storms, widespread south to southwest wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph are expected late this afternoon and tonight," the NWS said. "Isolated higher gusts are possible west of I-75, north of I-64, and above 2,000 feet."

Gov. Andy Beshear also warned Kentuckians of the severe weather. He said the areas of greatest risk for severe weather and for a potential strong tornado are south western and south central Kentucky.

“Kentuckians should follow their local forecasts and be aware of changing conditions as this storm front moves through our state,” said Gov. Beshear. “Families and workplaces need to be familiar with plans for safely sheltering in place in the event of a tornado and be prepared in case there are disruptions to local utilities.”

Gusty winds out of the southwest are expected, especially in Southern Indiana and North Central Kentucky. Sustained winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour will be possible, with gusts as high as 45-50 miles per hour at times.

“Given the National Weather Service advance warnings, this will be a very dangerous system capable of no-notice sporadic tornado activity throughout the evening and early morning hours across the state,” said Michael Dossett, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. “Now is the time to ensure that your family, neighbors and work colleagues have reviewed their safety plan for shelter or evacuation to a safe place in the event of severe weather.

“Stay tuned to your local weather broadcast, be aware of outdoor warning sirens and review the difference between a tornado watch – a timeline where conditions are favorable for tornado activity – and a tornado warning – a radar indicated sighting of a tornado in your area,” Dossett added.

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