A solid line of severe and briefly tornadic thunderstorms raced through southern Indiana and central Kentucky during the late morning and early afternoon hours of Tuesday October 26, 2010. Several ingredients came together for this late season severe weather outbreak as a powerful surface low over Minnesota and Wisconsin dragged a cold front through the region. Combined with the strong cold front was a powerful jet of low level winds around 75 mph and a mid level jet of winds around 110 mph. This produced an incredible amount of shear, which is a key ingredient to sustained and strong thunderstorm development. The extreme wind speeds at the low and mid levels also combined to produce storm motions between 60 and 70 mph at times!

Ahead of the main line of storms, already powerful surface wind gusts around 40 mph were occurring as the incredibly intense low pressure created strong southerly flow toward the Great Lakes. This low pressure was so strong, it is now (with some debate) the 2nd strongest extratropical and land based low pressure ever recorded (955.2 Millibars) in the mainland United States. Below is a surface map for the event showing the strong low pressure over Minnesota with the trailing cold front and associated severe weather extending south across the Ohio Valley. Click on the image for a larger view.


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Barren County Bullitt County Fayette County
Harrison County, Kentucky
Trimble County
Warren County
  Woodford County  

Barren County

Storm clouds, and possibly a funnel, near Glasgow.  Photo:  Pam Robertson

 Bulitt County

An EF-0 tornado struck Bogard Lane about four miles southwest of Mount Washington at 11:51am.  The path was 150 yards long and 75 yards wide.  A well-constructed concrete workshop was heavily damaged with a 3500 pound roof blown 45 yards away.  A 125 pound chimney was blown 60 yards away.  Insulation was found in nearby trees.

Track Map of Bullitt County EF-0 Bullitt County reflectivity Bullitt County reflectivity Bullitt County Bullitt County
Track Map Radar Reflectivity Radar Reflectivity Radar Velocity Radar Velocity


Mt Washington Mt Washington Mt Washington Mt Washington
These photos were taken facing west-southwest from Mount Washington about a mile east-northeast of the tornado right after it lifted.  Photos:  Eric Armstrong

corn damage corn damage
Damage to a corn field about a mile east of Shepherdsville.  Photo shared with NWS by Bullitt County Emergency Management.

Fayette County

Alltech Arena Alltech Arena Alltech Arena Entering fayette County  Panoramic view as the storms entered Lexington
These three pictures were taken in a parking lot on the west side of Alltech Arena.  Photos:  Stephen E. Bishop These two photos show the squall line and its shelf cloud as it was entering Lexington. Photos: John Bradshaw

Harrison County, Kentucky

Harrison County, Kentucky Harrison County, Kentucky
Photo:  Emergency Management Photo:  Emergency Management

Trimble County

A National Weather Service Survey conducted November 8 confirmed a short-lived EF-0 tornado southwest of Milton in northern Trimble County.  The tornado touched down 2.2 miles southwest of Milton at approximately 11:35 am EDT October 26 and quickly moved north-northeast, ending 1.1 miles west-southwest of Milton less than 2 minutes later.  The twister damaged the roofs of several outbuildings near its touchdown location before moving over open cropland.  It struck a home on Liberty Road just before it lifted, ripping the front porch roof off the home and flipping the detached metal garage next to it while leaving homes on either side of it unscathed.  This small tornado had a path length of 1.2 miles, with a maximum path width 20 yards and peak winds of 70 mph.  The photos below were taken by the NWS Survey Team.

Track map

Radar picture









Warren County

A National Weather Service storm survey team found that a low-end EF1 tornado with maximum winds of 90 mph struck just southeast of Bowling Green.  The tornado touched down at 11:08am CDT 3.2 miles southeast of Bowling Green, and lifted at 11:11am CDT 4.5 miles east-southeast of Bowling Green.  A tree was uprooted at the beginning of the track.  As the tornado crossed Cemetery Road it damaged a home.  A barn was unroofed near the end of the track.  Damage was intermittent along the 2.2 mile long, 60 yard wide path.

Drakes Creek Cemeter Road Cemetery Road Track map Warren County Velocity
Drake's Creek.  Photo:  NWS Cemetery Road.  Photo:  David Roemer Cemetery Road.  Photo:  David Roemer Track Map Radar Velocity

          Photo: NWS            Photo: NWS            Photo: NWS            Photo: NWS            Photo: NWS

Woodford County

A National Weather Service storm survey team found evidence of 60mph straight-line winds from U.S. 421 to I-64 between exits 65 (Midway) and 69 (Georgetown).Small trees and fencing suffered some minor damage.  The storm struck between 1:00 and 1:05pm EDT.

Gust front blowing up dust north of Versailles in Woodford County
Gusty winds blowing dust north of Versailles.  Photo:  Anthony Parker is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.