On January 6 and 7, 2014 arctic air spread into eastern Kentucky, bringing with it the coldest weather in 2 decades. The last time there were widespread below zero temperatures in eastern Kentucky was in the middle 1990s. An examination of historical records shows that major cold waves occurred more frequently from the late 1800s until the mid 1990s, with the recent long stretch without a major cold air outbreak being very unusual.
The coldest temperatures observed on January 7 at high elevation locations were -17 at Black Mountain (elevation 4100 feet) and -13 at the Pike County Mesonet site (elevation 2774 feet). The coldest temperatures observed at lower elevation locations included -9 at Clover Bottom (Jackson County) and Island City (Owsley County), and -8 at Rogers (Wolfe County).
The following table shows the low temperatures observed the morning of January 7, 2014 for locations with records that date back at least 30 years.
|Station||Observed Minimum January 7, 2014||Date last time temperatures were this cold or colder||All time record minimum temperature||Year records began|
|Jackson||-7||-8, February 4, 1996||-18 on 1/19/1994, 1/21/1985, 1/20/1985||1981|
|London||-4||-25 January 19, 1994||-25 on 1/19/1994||1954|
|Williamsburg||-3||-16, February 6, 1996||-21 on 1/20/1994, 1/19/1994||1892|
|Farmers||-5||-13, February 5, 1996||-28 on 1/28/1963||1904|
|Mount Sterling||-5||-5, December 16, 2010||-22 on 2/10/1899||1892 but with several gaps|
|Somerset||-4||-4, January 22, 1994||-36 on 1/18/1994||1950|