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Top Weather Events of 2017 - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Top Weather Events of 2017

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Here's just one more of those year lists for you to check out. 2017 certainly didn't disappoint in the weather department. We tracked incredible warmth in February that contributed to very little snow during the winter, severe thunderstorms that produced powerful winds and tornadoes, tropical systems that moved into Kentucky, and bitter cold to end the year. Here are just some of the important weather days of 2017 in the Bluegrass.

January 5th

(Credit: LEX 18 viewer Julie Irvin Widener from Frankfort)

Winter 2016-2017 was the third warmest on record, and the 15th least snowy. In one day in early January we picked almost all of our entire season snowfall. Light snow started falling around lunchtime on January 5th. The snow continued into the evening rush. Roads became slick and icy as temperatures started to nose dive. Blue Grass Airport reported 2.5" of snow. We would pick up an additional 0.9" through the rest of the winter.

March 1st

(Credit: LEX 18 viewer Terva Stokley in Estill County)

March came in like a lion this year. A powerful cold front crossed the lower Ohio Valley during the evening of February 28th and the early morning hours of March 1st. The system prompted a few tornadoes warnings in the Bluegrass. There were eight confirmed tornadoes in Kentucky, including an EF-1 in Henry County.

Severe wind damage was observed in Estill and Madison counties. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service determined that some of the damage in eastern Kentucky has a result of a microburst. Barns in Scott County were damaged. 70 to 80 mph winds were estimated in the Spindletop area of northern Fayette County.

This powerful system caused even more damage outside of the Commonwealth. There were over 1,000 severe weather reports across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys over a 48-hour period. 70 tornadoes were confirmed. This was the largest severe weather outbreak since the spring of 2011.

Derby Day

There was a muddy track for the 143rd run for the roses. Nearly an inch of rain fell on Oaks Day. The morning of the Derby was chilly with a few lingering shower. Eventually, the sun broke through during the afternoon with highs in the lower 60s.

May 27th

(Credit: National Weather Service Louisville)

A warm and moist airmass moved into the region over the Memorial Day weekend. Temperatures were in the mid 80s; dewpoints were tropical around 70°. With this combination you would anticipate strong, juicy storms to develop. Storms did develop over Missouri, meanwhile flooding became a bigger threat for Kentucky. A Flash Flood Emergency was declared in Casey and Taylor counties, where radar estimated 4-6" of rain fell in a very short period of time.

Kentucky and the tropics

We may be landlocked, but Kentucky is no strange to tropical systems. 2017 was no different. The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricane Harvey made an appearance in the Bluegrass over the summer.

(Flooding in Lawrenceburg. Credit: National Weather Service Louisville)

First came Cindy. The lingering circulation of the storm lead to two confirmed tornadoes in LaRue and Marion counties. Straight-line winds brought down multiple trees around Jessamine County. The remnants of Cindy also brought widespread heavy rain to the Bluegrass. Lexington picked up over three inches of rain. 

(Credit: National Weather Service Louisville)

Hurricane Harvey devastated in the Texas Gulf coast in early September. The remnants of Harvey continued to pad our summertime rainfall surplus. Areas near the I-65 corridor reported the highest rainfall totals.

Eclipse Day

(Credit: LEX 18 viewer Ali Eison in Madisonville)

This won't be a proper year-end review of 2017 if we left out the Great American Eclipse. This was the first total solar eclipse to travel from coast-to-coast across the US in 100 years. The path of totality passed through Hopkinsville. Eclipse Day was a hot one with heat indicies nearing 100° as the eclipse occurred. Skies were clear, making for ideal eclipse viewing.

It has been exciting year to live and forecast in the Bluegrass. I think I can speak for the entire StormTracker Weather team that we are looking forward to another great weather year in 2018.

- Meteorologist Jill Szwed

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