We experienced two distinct weather regimes during the month of February 2011. The first half of the month continued along in the same mode as much of the winter: cold and cloudy with occasional snowy weather systems moving through. The 8th through the 11th of the month were the coldest with some locations dropping below zero. The most significant snow of the month occurred on the 7th when a stripe of 3 to 5 inches accumulated from Morgantown and Hartford to Harrodsburg and Danville.
Then at mid-month things turned around for us, and our temperatures warmed to above normal with highs in the 70s on a few days. However warm weather in February comes with the price of severe storms. On the 24th a cold front brought strong storms to southern Kentucky and produced two small EF1 tornadoes in western Barren County as well as straight-line wind damage in Clinton County.
The month went out with a bang as a powerful squall line swept the region bringing widespread wind damage on the 28th. Several tornadoes occurred from Dubois County eastward through Clark County, Indiana...Jefferson County, Kentucky...and Henry County. Subdivisions just southeast of Eminence were hardest hit when the strongest tornado, an EF3, destroyed homes there.
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This was the 10th wettest February on record at Lexington and Frankfort.
Daily records set:
Bowling Green record precipitation on the 24th, 2.76"
Lexington record precipitation on the 24th, 1.77"
Lexington record precipitation on the 28th, 1.40"
Louisville record precipitation on the 24th, 2.31"
Snowfall in Elizabethtown on February 7. Photo: Robert O'Bryant