April 3-10, 2015 Summary - Flooding, Hail, Tornadoes (Updated 4/12/15 with interactive tornado maps)" />
National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

April 3rd-10th of 2015 brought a rather impressive stretch of active weather to the Ohio Valley.  Several rounds of thunderstorms brought a wide range of weather including damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and flash flooding.  Below is the summary of the different events throughout the week. 

The morning of April 3rd, 2015 - Flash Flooding

A frontal boundary stalled along the Ohio River Valley late on Thursday April 2nd and remained nearly stationary through much of Friday April 3rd. Several waves of thunderstorms, including a prolonged episode of very heavy rain late Thursday night/early Friday morning, moved along this boundary producing flash flooding. Through the event, as much as 6-8 inches (locally higher) fell along a narrow swath along and just south of the I-64 corridor. Widespread and major flash flooding occurred mostly in the early morning hours of Friday yielding numerous road closures and many water rescues.

6.81" of rainfall was measured over the two day event at Standiford Field in Louisville, with 5.64" falling on April 3rd. This shattered the previous daily rainfall record for that day of 2.55" set back in 2008. At the NWS office in Louisville, 8.03" fell over the span of the event! Lexington, KY also broke their daily rainfall record for April 3rd, measuring 5.17". Lexington also ended up with over 6 inches for the 2 day total.

While all of the flooding was occurring, a large fire broke out at the GE Appliance Park, casting an ominous smoke plume over the city. The image below seems to capture and summarize the events that took place in the city of Louisville and surrounding areas.

Below is a radar loop of "training" thunderstorms along the I-64 corridor. This sequence caused the most significant flooding across the region, although a secondary round flooding occurred later in the afternoon/evening of April 3rd as more thunderstorms moved through. 

Below is a 2 day precipitation total map ending the morning of April 4th. The heaviest swath of rainfall is easy to see extending through the Louisivlle and Lexington metro areas.

Here are just a few of the incredible flooding images captured across the region. Click on each picture to enlarge it.











April 7th, 2015 Tornadoes/Wind Damage

A compact storm system interacted with a warm and unstable airmass in the late afternoon and evening of April 7th to produce severe weather over portions of southern Indiana and Kentucky.  Three brief tornadoes were reported with this system, one with the line of storms over southern Indiana in Perry County, and two others with a classic supercell thunderstorm over Madison County, KY in the early evening hours.  In addition to the tornadoes, wind damage and large hail were common with the strongest storms.


Perry County, IN EF-1 Tornado (Click the Map for a Larger Interactive Version)



Madison County, KY EF-0 Tornado (Click the Map for a Larger Interactive Version)

Madison County, KY EF-1 Tornado (Click the Map for a Larger Interactive Version)


April 8th, 2015 - Large Hail

Yet another subtle disturbance pushed through the Ohio Valley on the afternoon and evening of April 8th.  This disturbance interacted with a very moist and unstable airmass, characterized by temperatures in the upper 70s and 80s over the Ohio Valley.  Supercell thunderstorms developed across parts of the area, dropping hail up to 2 inches in diameter, which is about the size of a hen egg!


                Photo credit: Kristen Cardwell                                                 Photo credit: Kaleb Parks

April 9-10th, 2015 Severe Weather

Late on April 9th into the morning of April 10th, the main weather system pushed through the Ohio Valley.  This was the same system that spawned a strong tornado in northern Illinois.  Fortunately the system weakened before it got to the Ohio Valley, but it still did do some tree damage, especially across southern Kentucky as the squall line quickly pushed through.