March Summary

March roared in like a lion this year as a powerful storm system brought huge hail and devastating tornadoes to the region on the 2nd.  Eight tornadoes touched down in southern Indiana and central Kentucky that afternoon, including an EF4 that ripped through Henryville, IN along its 49-mile long path.  The EF4 was the area's strongest tornado in 16 years and the deadliest single tornado here since the infamous Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974.

Fortunately the rest of the month was quieter, with the only other significant severe weather taking place on the 23rd when two small EF1 tornadoes touched down in northern Kentucky.  The first tornado that day touched down in far southern Louisville and tore a path about two and a half miles long.  The other formed near Finchville in Shelby County with similar strength and path length.

Other than the tornadoes, the big news of the month was certainly the amazing warmth.  Many daily records were set and it ended up as the warmest March ever recorded for Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green...and #2 at Frankfort.  Louisville basked in 9 days of 80 degree warmth and Bowling Green had 11 days in the 80s -- both records for March for those locations.  Other than a little frost northeast of Lexington on the 27th, fortunately there were no cold temperatures once the heat set in and vegetation throughout the region burst into full bloom.

But, this being Kentucky and Indiana, in addition to many days in the 80s, we also had the biggest snowfall of the season this month!  After a nearly snowless winter, an Alberta Clipper swept through the Ohio Valley and dropped 3 to 6 inches of snow in a swath from Hoosier National Forest through Louisville to the northern Blue Grass.  The very next day we had high temperatures around 70 degrees.

  Average Temperature Departure from Normal Precipitation Departure from Normal Snowfall Departure from Normal
Bowling Green 61.1° +12.7° 3.97" -0.44" 0 -1.1"
Frankfort 55.8° +10.9° 4.10" -0.28"    
Lexington 56.3° +10.8° 3.31" -0.76" 5.3" +3.9"
Louisville Bowman 60.2° +13.2° 4.90" +0.74"    
Louisville OFFICIAL 59.6° +11.8° 6.22" +2.05" 3.5"  +2.1"

Records set or tied:

Warmest March on record at Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville  (#3 at Frankfort).

2nd:  Record high of 82° at Bowling Green
14th:  Record high of 82° at Bowling Green, record high of 82° at Louisville
15th:  Record warm minimum temperature of 62° at Bowling Green, record high of 83° at Louisville, record warm minimum of 60° at Louisville
18th:  Record warm minimum temperature of 59° at Frankfort, record warm minimum of 58° at Lexington, record high of 82° at Louisville
19th:  Record high of 79° at Lexington, record high of 84° at Louisville, record warm minimum of 61° at Louisville
20th:  Record high of 85° at Bowling Green, record high of 83° at Frankfort, record high of 83° at Lexington, record high of 85° at Louisville
21st:  Record warm minimum of 60° at Bowling Green
22nd:  Record warm minimum of 62° at Bowling Green
23rd:  Record precipitation of 1.36" at Frankfort, record precipitation of 1.76" at Louisville
30th:  Record high of 83° at Louisville

March 2, 2012 EF4 tornado in southern Washington County, Indiana

The Henryville tornado just minutes after forming in southern Washington County on March 2.  Photo courtesy The Weather Channel's Simon Brewer

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