With heavy rain and the potential for severe weather still in the forecast, communities across Kentucky are struggling to cope with rising floodwaters while trying to clean up storm damage.
The Kentucky Mesonet measured a record wind gust of 101 mph at Murray in Calloway County at 12:25 a.m. Tuesday (April 26). A storm report submitted to the National Weather Service office in Paducah by the Calloway County emergency manager indicated extensive wind damage in that area. Mesonet stations in Hopkinsville, Leitchfield, Marion and Henderson also recorded wind gusts between 56 and 66 mph.
Mesonet stations have recorded heavy rainfall across the state in recent days and throughout the month of April. The forecast calls for continued heavy rain through Wednesday as a southerly flow of moisture-laden air continues to fuel storms before the low pressure system moves out of the region.
Here is some rainfall data, provided by Dr. Stuart Foster, state climatologist and director of the Kentucky Mesonet at Western Kentucky University:
- Precipitation amounts for the first 24 days of April have ranged from more than 9 inches to almost 13.5 inches through the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. The highest total is 13.31 inches at Morganfield in Union County.
- Benton, located in Marshall County, has the highest one-day total at 6 inches on Sunday (April 24).
- Amounts in southern Kentucky top 7 inches.
- Amounts in eastern Kentucky range from above 5.5 inches to near 10 inches.
- Kentucky’s record rainfall for April is 16.87 inches in 1970 at Addison Dam in Breckinridge County.
- Kentucky’s record precipitation for any month is 22.97 inches at Earlington in January 1937.
More than 50 Mesonet stations statewide collect real-time weather and climate data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction. High quality data is transmitted to the Kentucky Climate Center at WKU every five minutes, 24 hours per day.
“If we had only hourly data we would not know about these gusts,” said Dr. Rezaul Mahmood, associate director of the Kentucky Mesonet. “If we did not have stations located over many places we would not have these precipitation amounts measured. Our data is key to the decision making and disaster response.”
For additional weather and climate data, visit the Kentucky Mesonet website.
Contact: Stuart Foster, (270) 745-5983.