Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Nominee For Worst Weather Place In The World Is Kentucky

Simone Wester and her seven month old son Jeremiah
flee their flooded Louisville apartment on Friday
Photo by Timothy Easley/AP  
Oh, it must have been SO much fun living in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday. There were flash flood warnings, flood warnings, a tornado watch and a shelter in place warning for heavy smoke.

This pretty much seals the deal for Kentucky: It's the state with the worst weather in the nation.

Oh, sure, California is hogging all the headlines with its epic drought. And New England got lots of attention for its brutally cold winter and record snows.

(News flash: As I wrote this Saturday morning, it was snowing outside my Vermont window. Again. Just a day after I was teased with a sunny day with highs in the 60s.)

Anyway, my April snowfall is still a lot better than the conditions in Kentucky so far this year.

Let's review:

In February, Kentucky got near record snowfalls, some of the coldest temperatures on record in the state, a damaging ice storm, and some flooding.

On March 5, parts of Kentucky had their biggest snowstorm on record, with up to two feet of powder falling. Some people were stranded by the snow on Interstate highways for up to 12 hours.

This snow was followed by the coldest temperatures on record in a good chunk of Kentucky.

Then the snow melted in mid March. Along with some rain, flooding hit the state. The Ohio River along the Ohio-Kentucky border went well above flood stage. 

Then yesterday hit. Repeated torrential thunderstorms in Louisville and much of the rest of the state caused some huge flash flooding, requiring hundreds of rescues of people stranded in flooded homes and cars.

Many areas received four to seven inches of rain in just a few hours.

Sadly, a mother and child were swept away in a flooded car and are presumed dead.  A camper in a tent died in Kentucky and her husband was critically injured when a large tree branch fell on them during a severe storm.

Damage was widespread, to say the least.

Then, a massive GE warehouse caught fire. It's unclear if the fire was at all weather related, but the thick smoke prompted a shelter in place warning for people living nearby. They had to shut their doors and windows and stay inside because of the possibly toxic smoke.

On top of this, most of Kentucky was under a tornado watch Friday afternoon. Luckily, there were no reports of tornado touchdowns, but strong thunderstorm winds caused scattered damage, and the new afternoon thunderstorms worsened the flooding.

For tonight and tomorrow morning, frost and freeze alerts are up for much of Kentucky.

I'm not sure what's next for Kentucky in the weather department. We do know there's the possibility of more heavy rain and severe storms in Kentucky later next week.

After that, locusts?

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