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Old 02-04-2008, 08:10 AM
 
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This morning I noticed on the weather channel that Louisville may be getting some severe storms early this week with damaging winds, and the possibility of some tornadoes forming. My mom is a bit nervous about tornadoes. How often do you get warnings for these? Do most homes have basements, and do these storms generally make people feel nervous? With the proper precautions is there anything really to worry about? Thanks for any information, and hope your skies clear up soon.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Louisville KY Metro area
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First of all, let's set the record straight. To my knowledge, there was a major tornado to hit Louisville proper in 1974, the day the mass tornado outbreak hit the entire middle part of America. That is also the last tornado that caused any loss of life in Louisville area.

The Louisville TV market pretty well monitors (very competitively as a matter of fact) the area from Breckinridge Co, KY/Perry Co, IN to west, north to Seymour/Jackson Co IN, east to Madison, IN/Owen Co, KY, and south to Campbellsville, Green & Hart Co's KY. In my memory, I would say that that huge area has only 10-20 NWS confirmed tornadoes per year. 90% of which are F-1 and very localized.

The last major tornado that I remember striking the area was May of 1996 with no fatalities.

Yes, most homes have some form of tornado shelter, whether it be a basement, small hall, etc., but certainly not all.

It's not a bad place to live weather wise.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Most tornadoes that hit Kentucky are very small, from F0-F1, and do little more damage than straight line winds would.

Here is a tornado map for the US. Kentucky is between the two worst tornado zones (the Great Lakes and Deep South). Our hilly topography also keeps tornadoes from being on the ground for long periods of time


Here is the average # of tornadoes by state per year. The only similarly sized Eastern States w/ fewer tornadoes are West Virginia & The Virginia
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:47 PM
 
80 posts, read 312,983 times
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That certainly puts my mind more at ease. Thanks for the great information! You have both been very helpful.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I should expound on the tornado "zones" KY is between.

There is the Tornado Alley which everyone has heard off - basically it is btw the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains - where a large percent of the most violent tornadoes occur.

There are three smaller zones that aren't as well known. One is the Deep South tornado alley, which is most active from Feb- April. The second is the Great Lakes zone which is most active from May-June. The third are Atlantic Coastal areas which are normally quiet, except when hurricanes or tropical storms come ashore and drop dozens of tornadoes at once.

Kentucky, except for the far Western counties, sits just outside of all of these

Here is a second map which verifies the first one
http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/map_of_annual_average_tornadoes.gif (broken link)
http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/map_of_annual_average_tornadoes.gif (broken link)
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