Fact Sheet - Record Greatest Monthly Precipitation in Kentucky
Glen Conner
State Climatologist Emeritus for Kentucky
 
Most of the greatest monthly precipitation records were the result of a series of heavy rainfall events rather than from one day's deluge. The most dramatic example was January 1937. During that month, Kentucky's precipitation totals averaged 15.77 inches - over four times the normal average of 4.57 inches. Of fifty-one stations in the central and western regions, forty-five had more than fifteen inches, twelve had more than twenty inches, and Earlington in Hopkins County established a new monthly record of 22.97 inches. Almost all of the precipitation was rainfall rather than snowfall and included eight days with thunderstorms. The result of this excessive rainfall was what has become known as the Flood of 1937. Over half of Frankfort and Louisville and ninety-five percent of Paducah was inundated. Mass evacuations from those cities and others along the Ohio River occurred. The Kentucky, Green, Barren, and other rivers and creeks in central and western Kentucky reported major flooding.

The wettest year on record in Kentucky was 1979 when Caneyville in Grayson County accumulated an incredible total of 88.07 inches. That is about forty inches greater than the normal annual amounts for most Kentucky stations. It is comparable to the normal rainfall of tropical locations.
 
Kentucky Record Greatest Monthly Precipitation
Record Low
Location
Year
Data Source
Month and Day Indicated
January
22.97"
Earlington
1937
Climatological Data, Kentucky
February
13.33"
Burnside
1890
Climatological Data, Kentucky
March
17.82"
Sebree
1964
Climatological Data, Kentucky
April
16.87"
Addison Dam
1970
Climatological Data, Kentucky
May
17.10"
Elkton
1983
Climatological Data, Kentucky
June
19.22"
Paducah
1966
Climatological Data, Kentucky
July
16.61"
Hickman
1972
Climatological Data, Kentucky
August
15.50"
Aplha
1901
Climate & Crop Bulletin, Kentucky Section
September
15.31"
Aberdeen
1979
Climatological Data, Kentucky
October
12.92"
Warsaw Markland Dam
1983
Climatological Data, Kentucky
November
15.62"
Cadiz Lock E
1957
Climatological Data, Kentucky
December
17.64"
Jamestown
1978
Climatological Data, Kentucky