This could be the start of something wet.
The people who pay close attention to such things looked to the skies Tuesday and rejoiced, hoping that the good, soaking rain might signal a switch from too many dry, sunny days.
"This may very well be the beginning of the end of the drought," Tom Priddy, a meteorologist with the University of Kentucky Agricultural Weather Center, said Tuesday.
The National Weather Service in Louisville said "a vigorous low-pressure system" moving across the Ohio Valley region was "bringing soaking rains to an area that could use a drought-buster."
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On Tuesday night, the system brought strong winds that resulted in some downed power lines and fallen trees throughout the region, said Rick Lasher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Louisville.
He said the Dollar General Store in Stanford lost part of its roof to the wind, and there was a report of a tree on a house there, too.
In Lexington, the strongest gust, at 6:27 p.m., measured 57 mph. Lasher said that was likely about the strongest in the region. The wind was dying down by 9 p.m.
Lasher said that Wednesday would likely be a typical day for this time of year, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 50s. There is a chance of light showers Wednesday night into Thursday, he said.
For people fighting wildfires in Eastern Kentucky, the rain means at least a couple of days off, said Diana Olszowy with the state's Division of Forestry.
"It's a chance to rest up, to repair what needs to be repaired," she said. "If we get in some kind of cycle, rain every two or three days, that would be even better."
Lexington was in a swath of the state forecast to receive up to an inch of rain Tuesday, the weather service said.
The Weather Channel forecast rain ending late Tuesday with a 60 percent chance of more rain late Wednesday. But Priddy said the models that he has seen are less promising.
The western tip of the state and a line of counties along the Ohio River are classified as being in extreme drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor. The northern third of Fayette County is in severe drought, and the rest of the county is in moderate drought.
Lexington has received only 2.8 inches of rain since the end of July, Priddy said.
That's not much rain, even considering that October usually is this region's driest month.
"When you think about it, we normally get 4 or 41/2 inches of rain a month," Priddy said. "To get under 3 inches in 31/2 months is phenomenal."
Drinking-water supplies are holding up fairly well despite the lack of rain. But even this late in the year, dry weather is hurting agriculture.Wheat crops are suffering, Priddy said. And tobacco sitting in barns is drying rather than curing.
In the city and suburbs, the rain will help plants store moisture, he said.
The rain also might allow ground that had been pulling away from foundations to move back into place, possibly saving homeowners from having to spend thousands of dollars to repair cracks.