Kentucky Weather Hazards: What is Your Risk?

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1 Kentucky Weather Hazards: What is Your Risk? Stuart A. Foster State Climatologist for Kentucky 2010 Kentucky Weather Conference Bowling Green, Kentucky January 16, 2010

2 Perspectives on Kentucky s Climate A natural resource that helps to support a way of life An ever-present threat of natural disasters NWS Louisville WFO NWS Jackson WFO

3 Natural Hazards Related to Kentucky s Weather and Climate Drought Floods Cold Waves Heat Waves Damaging Winds Lightning Hail Tornadoes Flash Floods Snowstorms Ice Storms

4 Hazard Vulnerability Hazard Mitigation Disaster Preparedness Emergency Response Disaster Recovery Source: National Research Council, Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, D.C., National Academies Press, 2006.

5 Know Your Geography Disaster Preparedness requires knowledge of Hazard Vulnerability and Emergency Response Geography matters! Topography and land cover Population distribution by time of day Transportation network

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12 River Floods Communities of the Kentucky, Cumberland, Big Sandy, and Licking River basins have been devastated by flooding on many occasions, including 1927, 1937, 1957, 1977, and Photo from Courier Journal The Great Flood of January 1937 Precipitation averaged statewide Some locations recorded over 22 for the month Over 50% of Louisville, 95% of Paducah flooded Damage exceeded $3 billion (2008 dollars) Hazard, KY 1963

13 Hazards Snow Ice Cold Waves Winter Storms Photo Credit: Rick Shanklin, Source: NWS Paducah WFO NWS Louisville WFO

14 Where is the line? Impacts associated with disruptions of key networks: Transportation Communications Electricity Water NWS Paducah WFO

15 Three in One Winter Storm of 1994 Up to 1 of ice covered by 6 to 26 of snow Interstates and highways closed for 5 days Some communities isolated without power Record low of -37 F recorded at Shelbyville

16 Severe Storms Hazards Lightning Damaging Winds Hail Tornadoes Locations across Kentucky average between 40 and 50 thunderstorm days per year.

17 Derecho Formed in Illinois and swept through Indiana and Kentucky during the evening hours Wind gusts of 70 to 80 mph reported L G E most widespread power outage since 1974 outbreak

18 Tornado Tracks Produced by the Kentucky Climate Center based on dataset provided by the Storm Prediction Center within NOAA s National Weather Service

19 Tracks of Violent Tornadoes F4 and F5 tornadoes Produced by the Kentucky Climate Center based on dataset provided by the Storm Prediction Center within NOAA s National Weather Service

20 Tornado Days J F M A M J J A S O N D Month Produced by the Kentucky Climate Center based on dataset provided by the Storm Prediction Center within NOAA s National Weather Service

21 Tornado Hours Hour Produced by the Kentucky Climate Center based on dataset provided by the Storm Prediction Center within NOAA s National Weather Service

22 Tornado Path Length by Year Miles Year Produced by the Kentucky Climate Center based on dataset provided by the Storm Prediction Center within NOAA s National Weather Service

23 Tornado Outbreak: April 3,1974 At least 26 tornadoes struck 39 counties on April 3 rd 77 people killed and 1,377 injured Brandenburg destroyed by F5 tornado, leaving 28 dead Photos from NWS Archive

24 Tornado Outbreak: April 3,1974 Richmond, KY Photo Credit: Mike Schwendeman, Source: NWS Louisville WFO Pulaski County was hit by three tornadoes 7:55 p.m. CDT 9:00 p.m. CDT 11:30 p.m. CDT

25 Bowling Green Hailstorm Warren County April 16, 1998 Impact in Warren County 11,000 homes damaged 10,000 automobiles damaged 16 airplanes damaged or destroyed Damage estimated over $500 million Accompanied by tornadoes, high wind, and torrential rain that produced urban flooding

26 Urban Flood Jefferson County August 4, 2009 First severe thunderstorm warning issued 6:38 a.m. First flash flood warning issued 7:36 a.m. Final report of torrential rain at 10:23 Photo Credit: Walter Kalewski, Source: NWS Louisville WFO Numerous reports of torrential rain, hail, winds, flooding

27 Louisville Urban Flood August 4, 2009 Up to 6 within 3 hours Extensive property damage No fatalities, no injuries Photo Credit: Joe Sullivan, Source: NWS Louisville WFO Photo Credit: Joe Sullivan, Source: NWS Louisville WFO Photo Credit: Mike Howard, Source: NWS Louisville WFO

28 NWS Louisville WFO

29 Trammel Creek Flashflood Allen County June 23, 1969

30 Frozen Creek Flashflood Breathitt County July 4-5, 1939 Precipitation estimates anywhere from 3 to over 12 in four hours Wall of water estimated at 20 or higher Without warning, 79 people died Source:

31 Eastern Kentucky Flash Flood Events Source: Climate Research Laboratory, Kentucky Climate Center, Western Kentucky University

32 Drought Years in Kentucky Annual precipitation deficits of 15 to 25 inches Growing season precipitation averaged 51% of normal Record high temperature of 114 F Extreme heat in July with 100 F or higher on 15 days

33 Drought of 2007 April 3 rd Source: U.S. Drought Monitor, Weekly Archives August 21 st

34 Drought of 2007 Socio-economic Impacts Reduced crop yields Stress on fish, wildlife, and livestock Damage to trees and shrubs More frequent wild fires Water use restrictions imposed Limited recreational opportunities Increased power costs

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36 Implications of Climate Change Mean and Extreme Conditions

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42 Summary Kentucky is at risk to a wide variety of weather-related natural hazards. Disaster preparedness begins with knowing the geography of your area. Disaster preparedness increases with your level of understanding of the threat. Kentucky Mesonet

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Unit 4. This unit will enable you to improve coordination and communication with State and local agencies when hazardous weather threatens.

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