During the early morning hours of May 11, 2003, severe thunderstorms raced across central Kentucky producing straight-line wind damage and several tornadoes resulting in F0-F2 damage. The images below show thunderstorms associated with a few of the hardest hit locations, including Hardin, Mercer, and Hart Counties which all reported tornado touchdowns.
|Series of 0.5 degree reflectivity images (above) from the Louisville-Ft. Knox WSR-88D Doppler radar (located at the top of each image at the black circle) showing the evolution of thunderstorms from 0749-0819 UTC (349-419 am edt) on May 11, 2003. The strongest storms and heaviest rainfall were occurring in the areas of red color. The storms produced straight-line wind damage across Hardin County. In addition, a tornado touched down near the town of Rineyville in central Hardin County around 0759 UTC. The accompanying reflectivity image (above) showed that the tornado was embedded within heavy rainfall. The corresponding storm-relative velocity image (left) showed nicely the tornadic circulation (couplet within circle of green pixels of inbound winds directed toward the radar [located just north of the image] and red outbound winds on left directed away from the radar). The tornado produced F1-F2 damage and was on the ground for several minutes.|
Low-level reflectivity (above left)
and storm-relative velocity (above right) images at 0929 UTC showed a
severe thunderstorm over Mercer County in east-central Kentucky (west
of Lexington). Although not classic in appearance,
this was a supercell thunderstorm with a
hook echo on the southwest side of the storm. Within the hook, velocity data
showed a well-defined, strong mesocyclone (rotating updraft; radar located
to west-northwest [left] of image) over central
Mercer County that was associated with a tornado that produced F1-F2
Over Hart County in south-central Kentucky (image at left), reflectivity data at 0854 UTC also showed a severe thunderstorm with supercell characteristics embedded within a squall line. This storm produced straight-line wind damage and an F0-F1 tornado near Munfordville in central Hart County.