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February 2018 was a volatile month with everything from temperatures in the teens to temperatures in the 80s, snow, tornadoes, and a major flood.

Most of the first 12 days of the month were colder than normal. Groundhog Day was especially chilly with lows in the lower teens and highs only in the 20s. Several snow makers passed quickly through the region early in the month, but amounts were generally under an inch for each one.

The rest of the month was warmer than normal...much warmer than normal. The late winter heat came in two primary waves, one from the 14th to the 16th and one from the 19th to the 25th. After a warm Valentine's Day with high temperatures in the 60s (after lows in the 20s the previous day), the mercury climbed into the 70s on the 15th and 16th. But even warmer weather was yet to come. The toasty conditions peaked on the 20th with lows in the 60s and highs around 80! Records were set for highs and warm lows, and in some cases they were new records for the entire month of February.

Warm weather in the wintertime is often accompanied by rain, and that was certainly the case this time. Widespread rains doused the region from the 21st to the 25th. A few spots in the Louisville area recorded over 8 inches of rain during this stretch! By the end of the month the region had accumulated more than twice the amount of precipitation that normally falls in February. Not surprisingly, this led to significant flooding. The Ohio River reached its 10th highest stage on record at Louisville, and went into major flood category at Tell City.

A powerful storm system roared through the region on the night of the 24th, bringing copious amounts of rain and seven tornadoes to central Kentucky.

  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal Snowfall Departure from Normal
Bowling Green 47.8° +8.0° 8.59" +4.63" 0.2" -3.1"
Frankfort 44.1° +7.7° 9.19" +5.90"    
Lexington 44.9° +8.0° 10.13" +6.93" 1.3" -3.3"
Louisville Bowman 44.1° +6.0° 10.14" +6.96"    
Louisville International 45.0° +6.2° 10.54" +7.36" 0.8" -3.3"

 

Records

7th: Frankfort record precipitation of 0.87"
15th: Bowling Green record high of 77°, Bowling Green record warm low of 63°, Frankfort record warm low of 60°, Lexington record warm low of 60°, Louisville record high of 74°, Louisville record warm low of 62°
16th: Lexington record high of 69°, Lexington record precipitation of 1.21"
19th: Bowling Green record high of 76°, Bowling Green record warm low of 58°, Frankfort record high of 77°, Louisville record high of 78°
20th: Bowling Green record high of 79°, Bowling Green record warm low of 63°, Frankfort record high of 79°, Frankfort record warm low of 62° (record for the month), Lexington record high of 80° (record for the month), Lexington record warm low of 62° (record for the month), Louisville record high of 82° (record for the month), Louisville record warm low of 66° (record for the month)
21st: Louisville record high of 72°
22nd: Frankfort record precipitation of 2.15", Lexington record precipitation of 2.49", Louisville record precipitation of 1.51"
24th: Bowling Green record warm low of 57°, Louisville record precipitation of 2.98"

5th warmest February on record at Bowling Green, 6th warmest February on record at Frankfort, 2nd warmest February on record at Lexington, 6th warmest February on record at Louisville
4th wettest February on record at Bowling Green, 2nd wettest February on record at Frankfort, wettest February on record at Lexington, wettest February on record at Louisville

Ohio River flood crest at Louisville February 26, 2018

Ohio River cresting at Louisville on the 26th. NWS