There's no doubt about it: July was a hot one once again this year! This ended up being one of the top 10 hottest Julys at all four of our major climate monitoring sites in central Kentucky (Bowling Green, Frankfort, Lexington, and Louisville).
Whether the month was dry or wet, however, depended greatly on how lucky you were to receive sporadic afternoon thunderstorms. There were several days when isolated thunderstorms would drench one town with an inch or two of rain and leave the next town down the road completely dry. An excellent example of this was in Jefferson County, Kentucky. A rainfall observing site on the far east side of the county reported 1.04" of rain for the month of July. Bowman Field, just ten miles to the southwest, got 6.18". Proceeding further, a mere five miles southwest of Bowman Field, Louisville International Airport recorded only 2.35". Continuing on, the NWS office, just six miles southeast of Louisville International, was drenched with 6.69"!
In addition to the heat, the humidity was particularly oppressive. On the 11th and 12th, dew point readings (a measure of moisture in the air) soared into the lower 80s. Lexington recorded its highest dew point on record: 81 degrees.
The sprawling area of high pressure high up in the atmosphere that brought us the hot weather also prevented strong cold fronts from crossing the region, so severe weather was rather sparse. Not a single Tornado Warning was issued by the Louisville NWS office. The most significant severe weather outbreak came on the afternoon of the 12th when a cool front did manage to get close enough to spark thunderstorms over central and southern Kentucky. The strongest storms produced damaging winds and local flash flooding.
|Location||Average Temperature||Departure from Normal||Rainfall||Departure from Normal|
Record warm low of 79 on the 11th
Record warm low of 79 on the 20th
Record warm low of 76 on the 29th
6th hottest July on record
7th hottest month on record
10th hottest July on record
Record warm low of 75 on the 23rd
8th hottest July on record
Record warm low of 81 on the 21st
Record warm low of 79 on the 29th
2nd hottest July on record
Third hottest month on record
A shelf cloud crossing Crawford County, Indiana, on the 3rd. Photo: Allison Howell