2007: Top 5 Weather Events
Eastern Kentucky experienced many different weather phenomenon throughout 2007, with lots of records broken and a series of “first time” events. Some of the events occurred over a short period of time, while most of the others happened over the entire year. No matter the duration of time that it took for each event to occur, the impact was large enough to affect east Kentucky and grab headlines. Most locations across the Commonwealth are still experiencing negative impacts from this year’s volatile and extreme weather, and as we head into 2008, there is hope for a calmer weather pattern and relief from the past year’s events.
In descending order…
5. First Tornadoes Ever Recorded in November
Tornado records for the Jackson National Weather Service’s 33 counties date back to 1950. In the 57 years that these records have been kept, there had never been a tornado reported in the months of November or January. On November 5th and November 14th 2007, tornadoes were confirmed in Bath and Laurel counties, leaving January as the only month to never have a recorded tornado.
On November 5th, an EF-0 tornado with winds estimated to 85 mph touched down in Bath County about 3 miles southwest of Owingsville. This tornado was only on the ground for 1.5 miles and was only 30 yards wide; however, it was able to cause considerable damage. Four barn roofs, a billboard, and numerous trees were downed about 1.5 miles west northwest of the intersection of Day and Stepstone roads. Just nine days later, another tornado touched down in Laurel County, making November of 2007 very unique when compared to the previous Novembers on record. On November 14th, an EF-1 tornado with winds estimated between 86 to 110 mph touched down 3 miles northwest of London. (Picture 1) This tornado, which had a path length of around 2 miles and a width of 200 yards, damaged several homes in the Glenview Road area near Pittsburg. Numerous trees were downed, with one tree falling on a mobile home and another mobile home was blown off its foundation.
4. April Tornadoes
April proved to be one of the most unsettled months of the year as numerous tornadoes, including the first twisters ever in Harlan County, touched down across the region. On April 3rd, the 33-year anniversary of the 1974 Super Outbreak of tornadoes, a powerful storm system moved across east Kentucky dropping numerous twisters, along with damaging straight-line winds and large hail. Overall, five tornadoes were confirmed with Pulaski and Harlan counties being hit by two twisters each and Laurel County being hit by one. Here is a time line of the events that occurred:
8:00 pm: Storms make their way into eastern Kentucky, with numerous trees down in Rockcastle County from straight-line winds.
8:37 pm: An EF-1 tornado moved out of Casey County into Pulaski County near the town of Magnum. The tornado was on the ground into Pulaski County for eight tenths of a mile, long enough to tear the roof off of a barn and just missed the Somerset NOAA Weather Radio broadcast tower.
8:43 pm: A second EF-1 tornado with wind speeds around 90 mph briefly touched down in a wooded area one mile southeast of Hogue in Pulaski County. (Picture 2) This tornado was on the ground for a tenth of a mile and was 25 yards wide. Numerous trees were uprooted; however no structures were damaged by this tornado.
9:00 pm: Nickel to Quarter-sized hail begins to fall, with Pulaski and Wayne counties getting the biggest hail.
9:30 pm: An EF-1 tornado with winds around 105 mph occurred in Laurel County along Highway 80 near London. (Picture 3) Near the start of the path, a mobile home was moved off its foundation, and numerous trees were snapped or uprooted. Toward the end of the two mile long damage path, a store roof was completely removed then set back down as the tornado roared overhead.