Anomalous Precipitation Across Western KY

This summer has certainly been hot and humid across much of the commonwealth, we can all agree. For the most part, upper-tropospheric ridging near the Ohio Valley and eastern seaboard has been primarily responsible for the warm temperatures and humid air mass across Kentucky and much of the central US. As a result, typical jet-stream placement has been well to our north, depriving upper-level flow of wind energy necessary to help move out these muggy conditions. Not surprisingly this favored several convective precipitation events which took place throughout the summer months and several of which were documented by our own Kentucky Mesonet observation sites.

July in particular was very active with heavy thunderstorm activity across western KY. Many KY Mesonet stations observed 5″+ of rain on different occasions, examples below:

 

 

 

July ended up being the wettest month on record for Bowling Green with heaviest precipitation on the 6th and 28th. Here are some figures courtesy of the NWS in Louisville which help support the notion of a warm and humid July.

 

Average Temperature Departure from Normal Rain Departure from Normal
Bowling Green 81.1° +2.4° 11.12″ +7.02″
Frankfort 78.3° +2.0° 7.61″ +3.22″
Lexington 78.3° +2.1° 4.98″ +0.33″
Louisville Bowman 79.9° +2.1° 4.73″ +0.56″
Louisville International 80.8° +1.5° 4.65″ +0.42″
  • Records Set:
  1. July 5th: Record warm low of 76° at Bowling Green
  2. July 13th:  Record warm low of 76° at Bowling Green
  3. July 24th: Record warm low of 74° at Frankfort
  4. July 28th: Record rainfall of 2.47″ at Frankfort
  5. Wettest July ever recorded in Bowling Green with 11.12″

 

This image from the Climate Prediction Center helps show the spatial extent of anomalous precipitation that affected western KY and surrounding regions during the past 90 days.

This image from the Climate Prediction Center helps show the spatial extent of anomalous precipitation that affected western KY and surrounding regions during the past 90 days.

As for now, the preliminary August climate data for Bowling Green is sitting at:

  • Avg temperature: 80.4 degrees
  • Departure: +2.8 degrees
  • Monthly precipitation: 5.16″
  • Departure: +2.19″

Currently we’re still experiencing upper-level ridging and a warm, humid air mass such as that of the past several weeks. However, model guidance is suggesting a break in the muggy conditions towards the end of the week as a trough is expected to approach the Ohio Valley from the north. Below depicts the current ridge of high pressure across the eastern US followed by the trough axis which will bring relief Thursday – Saturday this week, perfect timing for football. Go Tops!

GFS 300 hPa map valid for today at 1200 UTC

GFS 300 hPa map valid for today at 1200 UTC

GFS 300 hPa map valid for Thursday at 1200 UTC

GFS 300 hPa map valid for Thursday at 1200 UTC

With this expected change in a rather stagnant upper-level pattern for our region, afternoon highs of mid to low 90s will instead be in the mid to low 80s with noticeably lower values of dewpoints/relative humidity across the Commonwealth. This may be the start to a much welcome break in weather conditions and a good start to September.

Stay tuned to the Meteorology blog this week for some other exciting news with regards to activity going on within the program!

 

 

 

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