Welcome to National Weather Service Louisville, Kentucky!

downtown Louisville skylineWhether you pronounce it Looavul, Looeyville, Looaville, they all mean the same thing - a vibrant city of 750,828 (Jefferson County, 2012) people on the south bank of the Ohio River. Including areas in southern Indiana (known as "Kentuckiana" by locals), the metropolitan area has a population of about 1.25 million. Among numerous yearly awards, Louisville was recognized as one of the best entrepreneurial and breakout cities in 2014, one of the top travel destinations and best places to retire in 2013, and the most livable large city in 2012.

Photo courtesy of Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Our Office

The mission of the National Weather Service (NWS), under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to protect the life and property of our citizens from natural disasters by issuing warnings and forecasts for all manners of severe or extreme weather, and to enhance the national economy. This mission is carried out by weather offices and national centers located throughout the U.S. and its territories, along with a highly trained staff of dedicated men and women.

From day-to-day weather forecasts, to warnings of potentially dangerous storms, the National Weather Service is present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our office issues public forecasts and severe weather warnings and watches for 49 counties in central Kentucky and 10 counties in south-central Indiana. This includes Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Frankfort (state capital), Elizabethtown, and Bardstown. Our forecast area encompasses the Eastern and Central time zones.

We maintain a constant vigil, issuing routine forecasts and climatic information, and watches, warnings, and advisories for hazardous weather. Other NWS offices in or near Kentucky have local warning and forecast responsibility for surrounding areas.

Office history including historical locations and photos.

Program Areas
AHPS Forecasts: Graphical Outreach/Educational Material
ASOS Forecasts: Local Data
Research Activities
AWIPS Hydrologic Program Satellite Data
Climatology NOAA Weather Radio Science and Technology
COOP Observer Program Non-Precipitation Weather Skywarn Program
Fire Weather NWS Doppler Radar Training Documents
Forecasts: Aviation One Stop Weather Page Winter Weather
Community Description

Slugger Field from aboveLocated at the northern edge of the South and the southern edge of the Midwest, Louisville’s central location puts it within a day’s drive of half the nation’s population. At the intersection of three major interstates, I-64, I-71, and I-65, the city is directly connected to Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland, Birmingham, and other locations.

Louisville also is a city with a rich history being founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778. It is named for King Louis XVI of France.

All photos in this section are courtesy of Greater Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Festivals and Events

Louisville is home to some of the most exciting and unique festivals and events in the country. You see the premieres of the newest plays by America’s cutting-edge playwrights, or see sports history being made by a Kentucky Derby winner or experience rural charm at a state fair. Actors Theatre of Louisville hosts the Humana Festival of New American Plays every year in March and April. The Kentucky Derby is the most legendary horse race in the world and the pageantry and tradition of this annual rite of spring is celebratedhorse race at Churchill Downs every May. The Kentucky Derby Festival is a two-week extravaganza of community events and parties that culminate in the “run for the roses.” Beatles fans from all over the world converge on Louisville in May for Abbey Road on the River, the largest Beatles festival in the world. Summer welcomes the Street Rod Nationals, the world’s largest participation automotive event, and the Kentucky State Fair, one of the largest fairs in the country. All eyes turn upward in the fall for the Adam Matthews Balloon Festival in September. Winter ushers in the holidays, and the city twinkles with the holiday spirit when the lights of the season are lit at Light Up Louisville in November. All of Louisville’s arts venues honor the season with annual productions, and the mayor of the city welcomes the New Year with the Mayor’s New Year’s Eve Party. These are just a small sampling of the myriad of events that Louisville has to offer.

Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Derby Festival – Louisville hosts a significant number of outdoor festivals and events annually, but the city is most recognized as the home of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Derby Festival, which includes Thunder Over Louisville, North America’s largest annual pyrotechnics display.

Housing

The Louisville area offers a large range of housing and is considered one of the most affordable in the United States. At the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors website, you can search for properties to buy. The availability and cost of housing is a significant plus for the Louisville area. Census statistics

Climate

Louisville experiences four unique seasons a year, with weather conditions that can range from very active to very pleasant. Summers in the Louisville area are often very warm and humid, while winters are cool and variable. Snowfall averages 12.5 inches (31.8 cm) per year but can vary considerably, ranging in recent years from 0.9 inches (2.3 cm) in 1988-89 to 50.1 inches (127.3 cm) in 1977-78. The average annual precipitation is 44.91 inches (114.1 cm), with monthly averages varying from 3.05 inches (7.7 cm) in October to 5.27 inches (13.4 cm) in May. The normal low temperature in January is 26.8 °F (-2.9 °C) with a normal high of 43 °F (6.1 °C). However, weather conditions in winter can vary considerably from severe thunderstorms to snowstorms and frigid cold. For example, a line of severe storms brought wind damage and tornadoes on February 5-6, 2008, while a January 1994 snowstorm and arctic cold front produced 15.5 inches of snow and a record low temperature of -22 °F. In July, the average high is 88.7 °F (31.5 °C) with an average low of 69.9 °F (21.1°C). However, heat waves can strike the area from time to time, with afternoon temperatures in the 90s and even over 100 at times. Severe weather is not frequent, but can occur any time of the year, especially in April, May, and June. Louisville's elevation is 466 feet (142 m) above mean sea level.

Recreation

In 2015, Louisville will host its first professional soccer team, the Louisville City Football Club. Louisville is home to the Triple A baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, the Louisville Bats, who play their games at Slugger Field in downtown Louisville. Otherwise, there are no other professional sports teams in the area, although many citizens support professional teams from Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The Speed Art Museum in Louisville More than anything, Louisville is a big college sports city, very passionate about sports teams from the University of Louisville (national champions in men's basketball in 2013), University of Kentucky (national champions in men's basketball in 2012), and Indiana University.

The focus of the performing arts in Louisville is the Kentucky Center for the Arts which opened in 1983. The Center includes two theaters. There are a large number of additional cultural attractions, including the Louisville Ballet, Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Opera, and Actors Theatre. Newcomers are generally happy with the wide variety of high-quality cultural attractions. Since Louisville is home to Churchill Downs, it's not surprising that horse racing is a popular attraction. The Metro Parks system includes 10,507 acres at 188 different sites. The Louisville area is also home to many museums including the Louisville Science Center, Kentucky Derby Museum, Frazier International History Museum, Speed Art Museum, Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Louisville is also home to a large zoo. For golf lovers, Louisville is home to numerous municipal and private courses. Louisville will host the 2014 PGA Championship and did host the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club. We are home to the Louisville Extreme Park, a public skatepark. With these options and more, Louisville residents are provided with a full array of recreational opportunities.

Educational Facilities

The Louisville area offers a large number of high-quality public, private, and parochial schools. There are numerous colleges and universities in the area, including two theological seminaries (Presbyterian and Southern Baptist). The largest university is the University of Louisville, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which offers degrees from the baccalaureate through the doctoral level in a variety of fields. The University of Louisville has a large medical complex with a medical school, dental school, and nursing school. Across the Ohio River from Louisville in New Albany, Indiana is a regional satellite campus of Indiana University (Indiana University Southeast) which offers degrees from both Indiana University and Purdue University (students living in the Louisville area are eligible for in-state tuition at IU-Southeast). Other prestigious local universities include Bellarmine University, Spalding University, Sullivan University, and several smaller colleges.

Transportation

The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) offers bus transportation throughout the area. These buses serve all of downtown and Jefferson County as well as parts of surrounding counties in Kentucky and Indiana. The extensive highway system in the area enables automobile traffic to move quickly, so lengthy commutes and major traffic jams are rare. Louisville International Airport (SDF) is just 7 miles or 10 minutes from downtown. Serviced by 12 carriers the airport offers an average of 100 daily departures with non-stop or direct service to many destinations across the U.S. plus Mexico, and Canada. Louisville International Airport is the fifth busiest air cargo facility in the United States and the tenth busiest in the world thanks in large part to United Parcel Service (UPS), which maintains an air hub at the airport. Louisville's Bowman Field (LOU) is another airport in the area, which services smaller private and corporate aircraft.

Taxes

Kentucky imposes a 6% sales tax on all items other than food and medicine. The city-county income tax is assessed at 2.2 percent of gross income (no exceptions or deductions). The Commonwealth of Kentucky income tax ranges from 2-6 percent of taxable income depending on income level. Real estate is taxed at about 1.1 percent of assessed value, with assessments closely linked to the true market price.

Lexington, Kentucky
Located in the east-central part of Kentucky, Lexington is known as the Horse Capitol of the World. The city was founded in 1775 by settlers that upon hearing of the colonists victories in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts decided to name their new home Lexington. Numerous famous figures from American history have lived parts of their lives in Lexington such as Henry Clay, Jefferson Davis, and Mary Todd Lincoln. Lexington is currently the second largest city in Kentucky.

Lexington SkylineEducational Facilities

Lexington is home to two main universities, the University of Kentucky, a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and Transylvania University. There are also numerous smaller non-traditional colleges.

Recreation

With many equestrian themed attractions, Lexington lives up to its title as the Horse Capitol of the World. Located in Lexington is the Kentucky Horse Park. Lexington is also home to the Keeneland and The Red Mile horse racing tracks. Lexington also was the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Festivals and Events

Lexington is home to many different festivals and events. Each June Lexington hosts the Festival of the Bluegrass. Lexington is also home to the Rolex Three Day Event, an annual horse competition. Lexington also hosts a large downtown Fourth of July celebration.


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