27 May 2004
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Tornado Damage

Widespread severe thunderstorm damage occurred across portions of south-central Indiana and central Kentucky on the evening of May 27, 2004.

The following is the official public information statement, detailing the extent of F3 tornado damage and estimated path dimensions.

Tornado paths for the May 27 outbreak.

This F3 tornado is the first tornado of this magnitude to hit Lexington, KY in 50 years.

 PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
730 PM EDT FRI MAY 28 2004

...STORM DAMAGE SURVEY FOR LEXINGTON KENTUCKY...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS RACED ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTH CENTRAL INDIANA AND
NORTH AND EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY DURING THE EVENING OF THURSDAY MAY
27, 2004. THE HARDEST HIT AREA WAS NORTHWEST LEXINGTON IN AN AREA
EXTENDING FROM MASTERSON STATION EAST TO JUST EAST OF THE
INTERSECTION OF GEORGETOWN RD AND CITATION BLVD.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSONNEL CONDUCTED A STORM DAMAGE SURVEY
OF THIS AREA TO DETERMINE TORNADO VERSUS STRAIGHT LINE WIND
DAMAGE...AND ESTIMATES OF ASSOCIATED WIND SPEEDS. THE INFORMATION
BELOW CONTAINS RESULTS OF THIS SURVEY.

DAMAGE TRENDS SUGGEST A COMBINATION OF A TORNADO AND INTENSE
STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN THIS AREA. BASED ON NUMEROUS WITNESSES AND
VISIBLE DAMAGE...IT IS ESTIMATED THAT A TORNADO FIRST TOUCHED DOWN
JUST EAST OF MASTERSON STATION PARK ON THE SUBDIVISION ROAD OF BUCK
LANE AND CONTINUED EAST THROUGH THE SUBDIVISION AROUND 1015 PM EDT.
THE TORNADO THAT WAS PRODUCED WAS CLASSIFIED AS AN F2. JUST TO THE
SOUTH OF THE TORNADO PATH...STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 100 MPH
TOPPLED A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF LARGE TREES.

THE TORNADO THEN CROSSED AN OPEN FIELD AND MOVED INTO ANOTHER SUBDIVISION
PRODUCING EVEN MORE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN THE RANGE OF AN UPPER LIMIT
OF F2 TO THE LOWER LIMITS OF AN F3. IT APPEARS THE TORNADO REACHED
ITS MAXIMUM STRENGTH IN THIS SECTION OF THE TORNADO PATH. MAXIMUM
WIND SPEEDS OCCURRED IN THIS AREA WITH MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS ESTIMATED
AROUND 160-170 MPH. THE MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH WAS ESTIMATED TO BE
AROUND 150 YARDS...WITH A TOTAL PATH LENGTH AROUND 3 MILES. HOWEVER.
THE TORNADO SHOWED SIGNS OF LIFTING SLIGHTLY OFF THE GROUND SEVERAL
TIMES ALONG ITS PATH.

THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND INTERMITTENTLY AS IT MOVED TO THE EAST
NORTHEAST. IT STRUCK A SINGLE HOUSE ON STATE ROAD 1978...DOING F2
DAMAGE. IT CROSSED GEORGETOWN ROAD...AND STRUCK ANOTHER SUBDIVISION
NEAR CITATION BLVD...DOING F1 TO F2 DAMAGE. IT CONTINUED FOR A SHORT
DISTANCE INTO A FIELD...AND THEN LIFTED.

IN ADDITION TO TREES BEING DOWNED BY STRAIGHT LINE WINDS SOUTH OF
THE TORNADO PATH NEAR THE SUBDIVISION...WINDS IN EXCESS OF 80 MPH
ALSO PEELED ROOFS OFF OF SEVERAL WAREHOUSES IN AN INDUSTRIAL PARK 
JUST WEST OF GEORGETOWN ROAD AND SOUTH OF CAPSTONE DR. THE DAMAGING
WINDS CONTINUED EAST NORTHEAST TO THE INTERSTATE 64 AND NEWTON PIKE.
THE STORM THEN MOVED THROUGH SEVERAL HORSE FARMS TOPPLING NUMEROUS
TREES AND PARTIALLY PEELING OFF THE ROOFS OF SOME HORSE BARNS...ONE
OF WHICH HAD 50 HORSES HOUSED. NONE OF THE HORSES WERE HARMED.    

FIVE NON-LIFE THREATENING INJURIES WERE REPORTED WITH THE STORM. IF
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE...THIS STATEMENT WILL BE
UPDATED AS NECESSARY.

 


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