TEMPERATURES: During the months of March and April, the average monthly temperature was above normal. However, in May, the average monthly temperature at Evansville was slightly below normal, while it remained slightly above normal at Paducah.

WEATHER: March was a rather uneventful month as far as precipitation was concerned. At both Paducah and Evansville, the total monthly precipitation was well below normal. In fact, at Paducah, a total of 1.95 inches of precipitation fell, making it the third driest. However, river flooding became a problem beginning in late February and continuing into early March due to recent heavy rain in February and snow melt. Most of the river stages crested in late February and fell below flood stage in early March. Other than a few severe hail reports on March 13th and 25th, it was a pretty quiet month weather wise.

However, in April, a more active weather pattern began to set up. As early as April 4th, severe thunderstorms pounded portions of the area, with mainly large hail being reported.

The next major event was on the 20th of April, where severe thunderstorms affected parts of western Kentucky and southwest Indiana. Many occurrences of dime to quarter size hail were reported. There were three particularly significant hailstorms. An F1 tornado occurred around 3:40 P.M., near Crofton in Christian County, Kentucky.

On April 24th and 25th, severe storms occurred in association with a strong upper level low that tracked east from Kansas. Mainly large hail was the result from these severe storms but a few weak tornadoes occurred near Unity, IL and Sharpe, KY. Even more severe storms rolled across portions of the area on the 28th and 29th, which produced mainly large hail and strong winds.

As far as monthly precipitation totals are concerned for April: At Paducah, total precipitation was about an inch above normal, while at Evansville, total precipitation for April was below normal. April 2003 ended up being the tenth wettest on record in Paducah.

And then...there was the month of May, probably one of the busiest severe weather months of the year. During the first week or so of the month, several rounds of severe weather brought large hail, destructive winds, flash flooding and tornadoes, a few of which were strong to violent tornadoes. Of the 39 tornadoes that occurred during 2003, 34 of them occurred in May.

The strongest tornado hit portions southern Illinois on May 6th. It began in Pulaski county, and ripped across Massac county and then into Pope county. This F4 tornado did an estimated 16 million dollars damage, caused 33 injuries and 2 deaths. Nearly 40 homes and/or mobile homes were totally destroyed, about 60 sustained major damage and around 75 had at least minor damage. Also on that day, an F3 tornado hit Jackson Missouri. There were 2 injures but no deaths with this tornado. About 140 homes received minor damage, 43 received major damage and 22 homes were destroyed. Another F3 tornado occurred on the 11th of May in Mclean County, KY near Sacramento. Estimated damage costs were around 400,000 dollars.

Large hail up to the size of baseballs occurred on May 4th across portions of west Kentucky. This was one of the most destructive hail storms on record in far western Kentucky. Thousands of vehicles were dented and hail broke some windshields and damaged roofs. Damage estimates were in the tens of millions of dollars.

Severe weather seemed to occur almost every other day during the first half of May. However, as we headed toward the end of the month, the weather had calmed down quite a bit.

With all the severe weather that occurred in May, monthly rainfall totals were definitely above normal. In fact, with 6.08 inches of rain occurring in Paducah, May 2003 was the ninth wettest on record.

Here is a detailed look at the spring season...

MARCH 2003 Average Monthly Temperature Departure From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 48.2 degrees 0.6 degrees above normal  
Evansville, IN 46.5 degrees 0.7 degrees above normal  


MARCH 2003 Monthly Precip. Dptr From Normal Monthly Snowfall Dptr From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 1.95 inches 2.32 in. below  normal 0.0  inches 1.2 in. below normal 3rd driest
Evansville, IN 2.60 inches 1.69 in. below normal 0.0 inches 2.0 in. below normal  


APRIL 2003 Average Monthly Temperature Departure From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 59.6 degrees 2.6 degrees above normal  
Evansville, IN 57.4 degrees 1.9 degrees above normal  


APRIL 2003 Monthly Precip. Dptr From Normal Monthly Snowfall Dptr From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 5.96 inches 1.01 in. above normal 0.0  inches 0.1 in. below normal 10th wettest
Evansville, IN 3.93 inches 0.55 in. below normal 0.0 inches 0.4 in. below normal  


MAY 2003 Average Monthly Temperature Departure From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 66.3 degrees 0.4 degrees above normal  
Evansville, IN 64.4 degrees 1.2 degrees below normal  


MAY 2003 Monthly Precip. Dptr From Normal Monthly Snowfall Dptr From Normal Remarks
Paducah, KY 6.08 inches 1.33 in. above normal 0.0  inches 0.0 inches 9th wettest
Evansville, IN 6.51 inches 1.50 in. above normal 0.0 inches 0.0 inches  

Click here for the summer season overview

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