High Winds Pound East Kentucky On Wednesday

A powerful cold front rolled through east Kentucky on Wednesday, causing widespread wind damage. This strong cold front was the result of a very strong late Fall system with a 160 knot jet stream in the upper levels. This jet stream helped to spawn a powerful surface low pressure that moved across the lower Great Lakes Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. As the surface low moved northeast, it was able to bring the cold front through east Kentucky. During the frontal passage and thereafter, strong winds aloft, in the 50 to 60 mph range, were able to be brought down to the surface causing the strong wind gusts. A slot of dry air that typically wraps into a low pressure system helped to keep skies clear, which actually allowed for stronger winds to be brought to the surface. Widespread damage was reported across east Kentucky, and sadly, two fatalities and one injury were reported. According to Pulaski County law enforcement, a young mother and her unborn baby were killed when a tree fell on the mother in Somerset. A young man was also injured by the tree.

Below is a list of the strongest wind gusts recorded across eastern Kentucky.

SITE            COUNTY                  PEAK WIND

BMBL            KNOX                    41 MPH
BNVL            OWSLEY                  42 MPH
BTCK            JOHNSON                 33 MPH
MRHD            ROWAN                   50 MPH
OLIN            JACKSON                 43 MPH
QKSD            BREATHITT               44 MPH
WLBT            MORGAN                  50 MPH
LOZ             LAUREL                  49 MPH
JKL             BREATHITT               55 MPH
SME             PULASKI                 48 MPH
FGX             FLEMING                 56 MPH
IOB             MONTGOMERY              48 MPH
K22             FLOYD                   49 MPH
7KO             PIKE                    46 MPH
1A6             BELL                    33 MPH
HAZ             PERRY                   45 MPH
EKQ             WAYNE                   49 MPH


STATION         COUNTY                  PEAK WIND

TRIANGLE MTN    ROWAN                   59 MPH
SOMERSET        PULASKI                 47 MPH
YELLOW CREEK    BELL                    36 MPH
KOOMER          WOLFE                   50 MPH
PEABODY         CLAY                    45 MPH
BIG SANDY       MARTIN                  49 MPH

Below are a few pictures of damage to Missy's All In One Liquidation Store in Campton, KY. Thanks to WTVQ 36 in Lexington for sharing these pictures.

Credit WTVQ 36 in Lexington

Prior to cold front arrival, anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain fell across east Kentucky causing widespread minor flooding problems. This widespread and ample rainfall also led to river flooding in the Kentucky, Cumberland, and Licking river basins. Below is a map of observed rainfall from area Cooperative Weather Observer, CoCoRaHS observers, as well as RAWS and ASOS observing platforms across eastern Kentucky.

Rainfall Amounts December 8th & 9th, 2009 (click on image to enlarge)

Rainfall December 8th and 9th, 2009


Below, it is easy to see why river flooding became a problem as east Kentucky was hit with widespread rainfall of 1 to 3 inches.

Below is a list of all storm reports received at the NWS in Jackson as of 11 PM Wednesday night. Thanks to all who relayed the reports.

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....

1241 AM     NON-TSTM WND DMG BIGGS                   37.42N 82.27W
12/09/2009                   PIKE               KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREES DOWN ON HIGHWAY 194.

0215 AM     NON-TSTM WND DMG 3 S MCKEE               37.39N 84.00W
12/09/2009                   JACKSON            KY   EMERGENCY MNGR

            TREE DOWN ON CAR ON HIGHWAY 290.

0506 AM     FLOOD            CRANKS                  36.76N 83.17W
12/09/2009                   HARLAN