KENTUCKY AND SOUTHERN INDIANA CLIMATOLOGICAL REGIONS

Kentucky and Southern Indiana Climatological Regions The heavy snow study focuses on Kentucky, split into 4 climatological areas (defined here as KY-1 through KY-4), and southern Indiana, including areas IN-7, IN-8, and IN-9. Due to the relatively large size of the Kentucky areas, each climatological region was divided into a north and south section (e.g., 1N and 1S of region KY-1) in order to determine whether the northern half of each region had more snow events than the southern half.

Heavy Snow Statistics for Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Annual Distribution of Heavy Snow Events (1982-1996) Number of heavy snow events per year from 1982-1996 across Kentucky and/or southern Indiana. A heavy snow event was defined as 4 inches or more in 24 hours reported over at least one-third of a climatological region. Some events were small in areal extent, covering only a portion of a single region, while others where widespread covering several climatological areas. No matter the areal coverage, each case counts as one event in the histogram at left. A total of 39 cases were noted.
Number of Heavy Snow Events per Month (1982-1996) Number of heavy snow events per month from 1982-1996. As expected, January and February contained the greatest number of cases.  
Number of Heavy Snow Events per Climate Region (1982-1996) Number of events per climatological region. Eastern Kentucky (KY-4) had the most events, as this region can receive heavy snow due to East Coast storms and due to the higher elevations of the Appalachian mountains. The western half of Kentucky (KY-1 and KY-2) and southwest Indiana (IN-7) also experienced an appreciable number of events. Note that more than 39 cases (total number of separate events) appear at left since numerous events covered more than one climatological area.
Number of Heavy Snow Events er Kentucky Climate Subregion (1982-1996) Number of events per climatological subregions in Kentucky. Regions were split into northern ("N") and southern ("S") sections. Across the western half of Kentucky, no difference was noted from north to south. However, more events occurred across KY-3N than in KY-3S. In addition, several more events were noted in the southern part of eastern Kentucky (KY-4S) than the northern part, as southern sections were affected more by East Coast systems and orographic effects of the Applachians.  
Number of Heavy Snow Events per Climate Region Normalized with Respect to Area (1982-1996) Since all regions were different in size which affected the number of heavy snow reports and events per region in this study, the climatological regions were normalized to the same size as region IN-9 (the smallest zone). Thus, it clearly is evident that the three southern Indiana regions had more events per unit area than Kentucky climatological areas. Latitude/temperature structure played a part in this difference.  
Number of Heavy Snow Events per Climate Region Normalized with Respect to Station Density (1982-1996) Each climatological area also contained a varying number of reporting cooperative observer stations. Thus, each region was normalized to identify the number of events per unit station density. Again, southern Indiana had the most cases in this analysis. Interestingly, eastern Kentucky (KY-4) had the least number (despite it having the greatest number of total events) due to a large number of possible reporting stations over a large geographic zone.  
Number of Ten Inch Snow Events per Region (1982-1996) Number of very heavy snow events (10 inches of more in 24 hours) over Kentucky and southern Indiana from 1982-1996. Eastern Kentucky (KY-4) clearly had the most events, largely due to the influence of East Coast storms and enhanced elevation.
Number of Ten Inch Snow Events per Month (1982-1996) Number of very heavy snow events (10 inches or more) per month across Kentucky and southern Indiana from 1982-1996. The majority of major events occurred from mid January through mid March.


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