2014 – Kentucky Weather Year in Review
Kentucky experienced its second consecutive cooler than normal year in 2014. The year ranked as the 16th coolest statewide since 1895, making it the coolest year since 1979. The two-year cool stretch follows the 2011-2012 period which ranks as the 3rd warmest two year stretch on record. Five months of the year recorded well-below normal (bottom quartile) temperatures, including the first three months of the year, which led to the coldest January to March since 1979 and the 9th coldest start to the year on record. The colder than normal temperatures contributed to above average snowfall across the state, continuing a trend of snowier than normal winters since 2009-10. The biggest winter storm of the year occurred on March 2-3, when around five inches of sleet and snow fell across central Kentucky. After a warmer than normal April through June period the month of July brought the unusual combination of dry and cool conditions to the state. July ranked as the 4th coolest on record and was the coolest since 2009. The biggest difference between July 2009 and July 2014 was the rainfall. July 2009 was among the wettest ever while July 2014 was drier than normal. The unusual combination of well below average temperatures and rainfall had only occurred once before in 120 years in Kentucky. The drier than normal July was the third consecutive dry month which pushed the growing season rainfall deficit to around six inches, prompting the U.S. Drought Monitor to declare a moderate drought across western and south-central Kentucky by the end of July. This was the first time since 1945 that drought conditions developed during a cooler than normal July.
-Greg Goodrich, Associate Professor of Geography