December Summary

December 2013 was a tumultuous month with a wide variety of weather in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

The first significant storm of the month moved through the region on the 5th and 6th.  Strong low pressure crossing the Great Lakes swept a sharp cold front across the eastern third of the country.  One to four inches of rain fell on southern Kentucky, and 5 to 9 inches of snow blanketed southern Indiana. A weaker system came in just a couple of days later, but was still impactful as it dropped freezing rain and sleet, coating southern Kentucky in up to a quarter inch of ice on the 7th-8th.  The fronts causing the wintry mix also ushered in cold air, with the mercury dropping to around zero by the 12th where deep snow was located.

Fortunately we warmed up gradually after the snowfall and the initial blast of cold air, so the snow pack could melt gradually and widespread river flooding was avoided.

Then, after having gone through snow, ice, and wintry cold, things took a turn for the warmer.  Much warmer.  Winter briefly gave way to spring from the 19th to the 21st as warm Gulf of Mexico air streamed northward ahead of an approaching storm.  On the 21st we enjoyed highs in the 70 to 75 degree range, setting records throughout the area.  However, as most of us know, we usually have to pay a price when temperatures get that warm in December.  Indeed, a squall line developed during the evening hours of the 21st and charged through much of central Kentucky and far southern Indiana, bringing damaging straight-line winds and even three tornadoes.  It was our first multi-tornado December day since reliable records began in 1950, and our first December tornadoes since 1971!


Average Temperature

Departure from Normal


Departure from Normal


Departure from Normal

Bowling Green





















Louisville Bowman







Louisville Official (SDF)








6th:  Record snowfall of 3.5" at Louisville.
10th:  Record snowfall of 0.1" at Bowling Green.
20th:  Tied record warm minimum temperature at Louisville, 52°.
21st:  Record high of 74° at Bowling Green, 72° at Frankfort, 72° at Lexington, and 70° at Louisville.  Record warm low of 60° at Bowling Green, 58° at Frankfort, 57° at Lexington, and 60° at Louisville.  Record precipitation of 1.15" at Frankfort and 2.52" at Louisville.

Hodgenville, Kentucky December 8, 2013

Hodgenville on the 8th.  Angela Grimes

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