National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Every year Indiana and Kentucky host amazing weather, and 2017 did not disappoint. From incredible warmth in February that contributed to a winter of very little snow, to increased tornado activity, to tropical systems making themselves known well inland, there were a lot of important weather days here in 2017.

February 24: Strong low pressure advanced from Illinois to the Great Lakes, bringing incredibly warm air northward into much of the eastern part of the country. Punctuating an already warm winter, temperatures soared into the lower 80s in many locations. The 81° reading in Louisville had never been experienced before in February in Derby City.

March 1: A powerful storm system crossed the lower Ohio Valley on the evening of Tuesday, February 28, and the early morning hours of Wednesday March 1. Multiple rounds of thunderstorms brought large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. The strongest tornado of the year in the Louisville NWS office's area of responsibility was an EF2 that struck at three minutes after midnight near Ireland in Dubois County.

March 27: A strong low pressure system tracked northeast through the Ohio Valley producing discrete storm cells and a line of storms during the late afternoon and evening hours. Numerous reports of wind damage and large hail resulted from these storms. An EF1 tornado did damage near Center in Metcalfe County.

April 5: Four EF1 tornadoes struck central Kentucky, three of which were within a few miles of each other north of Center in Metcalfe and Green Counties.

April 28: Storms developed along a warm front across southern Indiana during the evening. These spread into north central KY through the late evening and overnight hours. Hail up to half dollar size was produced by the storms. One tornado occurred shortly before midnight at Goshen in Oldham County. This eventually transitioned to a heavy rain event with many flash flooding reports.

May 6: Mostly cloudy skies and scattered showers greeted racing fans at the Kentucky Derby, making for a muddy track.

May 19: A persistent line of storms produced torrential rains in and around Salem, Indiana. The stream gauge on the Blue River went a foot over the record stage before being damaged by the floodwaters. A Flash Flood Emergency was issued. Also, a small tornado struck Crawford County near Sulphur.

May 20: A weak tornado touched down along Big Clifty Creek near Madison, Indiana. Homes and trees were damaged.

May 27: A warm and moist air mass moved into the region with temperatures rising into the mid 80s and dew point temperatures near 70.  Widespread thunderstorms produced multiple hail reports as well as some tree damage.  A Flash Flood Emergency was declared for Taylor and Casey Counties where radar estimated 4-6" of rain fell over a relatively short period of time.

June 23: A cold front dropping in from the northwest met up with the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy coming in from the southwest to cause widespread heavy rain. Wind shear in the low levels of the atmosphere near Cindy's circulation led to tornado development in LaRue, Marion, and Jessamine Counties.

July 7: A hot, muggy day led to plenty of instability for storms coming in from Indiana/Ohio to feed on. These storms brought strong winds and hail as well as continuous lightning to some locations.

September 1: The remnants of Hurricane Harvey moved into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, dropping up to 5 inches of rain on central Kentucky and far southern Indiana.  

November 5: A strong cold front moved through the area overnight November 5-6. Ahead of this front strong storms moved into southern Indiana resulting in 3 tornadoes in Washington County. In addition to the tornadoes, strong winds aloft were able to mix down to the surface across central Kentucky. A broad swath of 40-55 mph winds resulted in numerous power outages across the region.

November 18: A fast moving squall line pushed through central Kentucky and southern Indiana in the late afternoon and early evening. Several breaks formed in the line, allowing nearby storms to produce pockets of wind damage and three brief tornadoes.

  Bowling Green Frankfort Lexington Louisville Bowman Louisville International
Highest Temperature 97° Jul 22 94° Jul 21 94° Jul 21 96° Jul 21 97° Jul 21
Lowest Temperature 9° Jan 8 4° Jan 7 4° Jan 7 7° Dec 27 8° Dec 27
Wettest Day 4.93" Sep 1 3.23" Sep 1 3.73" Oct 8 3.23" Sep 1 3.51" Sep 1
Snowiest Day 0.7" Jan 5   2.5" Jan 5   2.3" Jan 5
Deepest Snow Cover 1" Jan 6   2" Jan 6   2" Jan 6
Daily Average Temperature Most Above Normal +27° Feb 24 +29° Feb 24 +30° Feb 24 +27° Feb 24 +27° Feb 24
Daily Average Temperature Most Below Normal -19° Jan 7 -22° Jan 7 -23° Jan 7 -21° Dec 27 and Dec 31 -21° Dec 27

 

Kentucky Derby weather, May 6: High of 62°, low of 42°, 0.12" of rainfall midnight to midnight, 0.02" of rainfall 1pm to 7pm. Muddy track.

 

(All data here are considered preliminary. For official final data, contact the National Centers for Environmental Information.)

Bowling Green
  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal Snow Departure from Normal
January 44.2° +8.5° 4.16" +0.55" 0.7" -2.6"
February 48.5° +8.7° 2.42" -1.54" 0 -3.3"
Winter 43.9° +5.9° 12.22" -0.15" 0.7" -6.9"
March 50.8° +2.4° 3.79" -0.62" T -1.1"
April 63.9° +6.2° 4.58" +0.24" 0 -0.2"
May 67.9° +1.5° 5.35" -0.26" 0 0
Spring 60.9° +3.4° 13.72" -0.64" T -1.3"
June 74.2° -0.8° 7.93" +3.73" 0 0
July 80.1° +1.4° 3.49" -0.61" 0 0
August 75.9° -1.6° 5.36" +2.03" 0 0
Summer 76.7° -0.4° 16.78" +5.15" 0 0
September 69.8° -0.3° 6.47" +2.54" 0 0
October 60.4° +1.6° 3.47" +0.09" T +T
November 49.1° +0.7° 1.96" -2.26" 0 0
Autumn 59.8° +0.7° 11.90" +0.37" T +T
December 37.7° -0.9° 3.49" -1.31" T -1.2"
ANNUAL 60.2° +2.2° 52.47" +2.58" 0.7" -8.4"

4th warmest year on record
3rd least snowy calendar year on record

 

Frankfort
  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal
January 40.3° +7.8° 3.94" +0.68"
February 46.3° +9.9° 2.16" -1.13"
Winter 41.1° +6.4° 11.57" +1.01"
March 47.7° +2.8° 5.09" +0.71"
April 62.5° +7.3° 3.34" -0.35"
May 65.3° +1.4° 5.95" +1.10"
Spring 58.5° +3.8° 14.38" +1.46"
June 72.7° +0.1° 5.48" +1.39"
July 77.3° +1.0° 5.13" +0.74"
August 73.5° -1.7° 2.63" -0.73"
Summer 74.5° -0.2° 13.24" +1.40"
September 68.4° +0.8° 4.96" +1.63"
October 58.9° +2.5° 5.44" +2.20"
November 46.7° +0.7° 2.79" -0.94"
Autumn 58.0° +1.3° 13.19" +2.89"
December 34.9° -0.4° 1.83" -2.18"
ANNUAL 57.9° +2.6° 48.74" +3.12"

6th warmest year on record

 

Lexington
  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal Snow Departure from Normal
January 40.2° +7.3° 4.71" +1.51" 3.3" -0.6"
February 46.8° +9.9° 3.39" +0.19" T -4.6"
Winter 41.4° +6.2° 14.28" +3.95" 3.4" -7.6"
March 47.8° +2.3° 3.28" -0.79" T -1.4"
April 62.5° +7.2° 1.84" -1.76" 0 -0.3"
May 65.5 ° +1.3° 5.64" +0.38" 0 0
Spring 58.6° +3.6° 10.76" -2.17" T -1.7"
June 72.6° -0.1° 5.78" +1.34" 0 0
July 77.2° +1.0° 5.23" +0.58" 0 0
August 73.0° -2.3° 5.07" +1.82" 0 0
Summer 74.3° -0.4° 16.08" +3.74" 0 0
September 68.4° +0.3° 3.74" +0.83" 0 0
October 59.7° +2.7° 5.77" +2.64" T 0
November 47.3° +1.0° 2.35" -1.18" 0 -0.3"
Autumn 58.5° +1.3° 11.86" +2.29" T -0.3"
December 34.9° -1.1° 2.37" -1.56" 0.2" -2.3"
ANNUAL 58.0° +2.4° 49.17" +4.00" 3.5" -9.5"

3rd warmest year on record
2nd least snowy calendar year on record

 

Louisville Bowman
  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal
January 41.2° +6.6° 4.24" +0.86"
February 48.3° +10.2° 1.78" -1.40"
Winter 42.3° +5.7° 11.06" +0.49"
March 49.6° +2.6° 3.45" -0.71"
April 64.3° +7.2° 5.24" +1.16"
May 67.0° +0.7° 4.85" -0.27
Spring 60.3° +3.5° 13.54" +0.18"
June 74.8° -0.3° 3.70" -0.44"
July 79.6° +1.8° 3.05" -1.12"
August 75.1° -2.4° 3.42" +0.11"
Summer 76.5° -0.3° 10.17" -1.45"
September 69.6° 5.10" +1.94"
October 59.8° +1.6° 5.13" +1.91"
November 47.7° +0.2° 2.82" -0.79"
Autumn 59.0° +0.6° 13.05" +3.06"
December 35.6° -1.6° 2.75" -1.26"
ANNUAL 59.4° +2.2° 45.53" -0.01"

 

 

Louisville International
  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal Snow Departure from Normal
January 41.6° +6.7° 4.21" +0.97" 2.6" -1.1"
February 49.0° +10.2° 2.06" -1.12" T -4.5"
Winter 42.9° +5.7° 11.57" +1.32" 2.7" -8.1"
March 50.3° +2.5° 3.68" -0.49" T -1.4"
April 65.3° +7.3° 4.47" +0.46" 0" -0.1"
May 67.9° +0.8° 4.74" -0.53" 0" 0"
Spring 61.2° +3.6° 12.89" -0.56" T -1.5"
June 75.9° +0.3° 3.26" -0.53" 0" 0"
July 80.7° +1.4° 2.79" -1.44" 0" 0"
August 76.9° -1.5° 4.20" +0.87" 0" 0"
Summer 77.8° 10.25" -1.10" 0" 0"
September 71.3° +0.3° 5.47" +2.42" 0" 0"
October 61.4° +1.9° 4.89" +1.67" T -0.1"
November 49.4° +0.6° 2.06" -1.53" 0" -0.1"
Autumn 60.7° +1.0° 12.42" +2.56" T -0.2"
December 37.0° -0.9° 2.73" -1.10" 0.2" -2.4"
ANNUAL 60.6° +2.4° 44.56" -0.35" 2.8" -9.7"

2nd warmest year on record
9th least snowy year on record

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Hail in Berea on February 24. Tornado damage near Ireland in Dubois County on March 1. Tornado damage in northern Orange County on March 1. Photo courtesy Rick Emerick. Barn damaged by a tornado near Leipsic, IN on March 1. Tornado damage in Henry County on March 1.
         
Tornado damage in Scott County, IN on March 1. Tornado damage in Campbellsville on March 1. Photo courtesy Michael Hilliard.  Tornado damage in Warren County on March 1. Barn damage from a tornado near Center, KY on March 27. Hail in Cox's Creek on March 27. Photo courtesy Stephanie Scott.
         
Big hail in Lockport, KY on April 5. Flooding in Crawford County on April 29. Photo courtesy Wade Bell. Huge hail in Springfield on May 11. Catastrophic flooding in Salem on May 19. Photo courtesy Rosy Callahan. Flooding in Elizabethtown on June 23.
         
Tornado damage in LaRue County on June 23. This barn was flattened by a tornado's winds near Loretto, KY on June 23. Nighttime lightning in Crawford County July 7. Photo courtesy Kyle Wilkins. Flooding from tropical rains in Warren County on September 1. A foggy morning in Memphis, IN on October 26. Photo courtesy Emily Belviy.
         
     
Frost on the flowers October 26 in LaGrange, KY. Photo courtesy Ryan Massey. Tornado damage in Guston, KY on November 18.