Threat of Flooding Rises Across Kentucky

Feb 12, 2020
National Weather Service

The entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is under a flash flood watch as rains move in Wednesday afternoon and evening.

A low-pressure system originating in Texas has moved up through the Mississippi Valley gathering moisture from the Gulf and the Pacific, said Brian Schoettmer, National Weather Service Meteorologist in Louisville.

“It’s basically like a steady stream of moisture over the area then you get a surge of surface low [pressure] that moves up from Texas that brings that last little punch in,” Schoettmer said.

Rhonda J. Miller

Kentucky Mesonet at WKU has moved to a new location in Bowling Green. The mesonet is an expanding statewide network for weather and climate data.

Kentucky Mesonet has moved from the main Western Kentucky University campus to the school’s Center for Research and Development. The new location in the WKU business incubator is near a busy intersection of stores and restaurants.

“We’re excited about relocating here because we feel like it will create some synergies and open up some opportunities to be more engaged in public-private partnerships. A little bit more of an entrepreneurial aspect," said Stuart Foster, state climatologist and director of Kentucky Mesonet. "Not that we’re a business, but the data that we provide has a lot of application beyond academics.” 

U.S. Drought Monitor

The current hot, dry spell has put some of Kentucky’s 120 counties in “moderate drought” conditions. That’s having an impact on the state’s agriculture industry in some regions.

Kentucky farmers have been dealing with nature’s unpredictable extremes. Unusually wet conditions earlier this year delayed some planting, and now the long, dry spell may affect some of those late-planted crops.

Stuart Foster is the state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Climate Center based at Western Kentucky University. He said the center has been getting impact reports from farmers in areas around Breckenridge, Hardin and Meade counties, as well as in some parts of eastern Kentucky, including the region around Breathitt County.

Becca Schimmel

The tragic images coming out of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian are hitting home for three Western Kentucky University students from the Caribbean nation. 

One of them is freshman Khajzan Taylor, who said it’s hard to watch his community suffer, while he’s safely in the U.S.

“It does something to me because I’m so far away, and I hate to see my people in agony like that.”

Kentucky Launches Emergency Preparedness Campaign

Sep 11, 2018
Creative Commons

Kentucky’s Department of Public Health launched a campaign to urge Kentuckians to prepare for disasters. It’s called “First 72 On You.”

“The first three days are pretty much when you’re more likely to be on your own, and you need to sustain yourself and your family before help can arrive,” said Heather Walls, Medical Reserves Core coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Public Health. “I would be able to sustain myself or my family in my home for 72 hours — I don’t have any big needs — but someone who has an elderly family member that needs dialysis, those are the people that emergency personnel respond to first.”

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Hurricane Florence is growing in size and strength as it barrels toward the Southeastern U.S. for an expected landfall in the Carolinas later this week as an "extremely dangerous hurricane," according to the National Hurricane Center.


The rainfall that’s been pounding Kentucky this summer has broken records and impacted farmers.

Kentucky state climatologist and WKU Geography and Geology professor Stuart Foster is reporting that rainfall records in several counties were shattered in July. The climate observer station in Murray recorded more than 18 inches of rain.

That broke the previous record by more than 7 inches.

Mesonet sites with the most rainfall in July also included Christian County with more than 18 inches, and Logan County with nearly 17 inches. Butler, Hopkins, and Marshall counties all recorded 16 inches of rainfall last month.

The heavy rains washed out portions of tobacco in some fields.

But the above average rainfall was an advantage for some crops, including corn and soybeans.

Kentucky Mesonet has 66 weather stations collecting data in 65 counties.

Kentuckians are about to get reminded that spring isn't here just yet.

A cold front moving through the commonwealth Sunday could drop up to 3 inches of snow across the Bluegrass before dusting the mountains.

Forecasters say the front also will bring 20-mph wind with gusts up to 35 mph.

The National Weather Service office in Louisville has nearly three dozen Kentucky counties under weather advisories starting Sunday afternoon into the Monday morning rush hour. Even places where the snow doesn't stick for long could have a tricky commute since temperatures are expected to fall throughout the day Sunday and remain below freezing well into Monday.

Frigid Temperatures Hit Listening Area

Jan 22, 2013

The coldest temperatures in two years have hit south central Kentucky, Indiana and parts of Tennessee and forecasters say they could stay for a couple of days.

Temperatures early Tuesday morning were in the low teens and a wind chill factor made them feel like low single digits.

Meteorologist Ted Funk with the National Weather Service says the area hasn't seen temperatures this low since February 10, 2011. There's also a chance of what Funk calls "wintry precipitation" later this week with a mixture of rain and snow.

Weather update: The National Weather Service says our listening area is under a Winter Weather Advisory from noon central time until Friday at 8am. One to two inches of snow is expected by late tonight. Temperatures will get into the mid 40s this afternoon, but will then drop into the 20s, where they'll stay throughout the evening and overnight hours. There's a 20% chance of continued snow showers Friday morning, with highs around 30.