Sub-zero temperatures and icy winds gripped the region - and much of the country - on Monday and Tuesday, prompting winter weather warnings and school cancellations.
According to Mike Crow, with the National Weather Service’s Louisville office, Leitchfield temperatures dropped as low as -3 degrees Fahrenheit both days, and wind chill values dipped as low as -19 around sunset on Monday.
A strong cold front and high pressure centered over Canada sent cold Canadian air across a large portion of the United States, with its frigid effects reaching as far south as northern Florida, where temperatures hovered in the mid-20’s, Crow said.
The average early January temperatures for central Kentucky are nearly 30 degrees warmer than what we experienced earlier in the week, typically ranging from a high of approximately 45 degrees to a low of around 26 degrees Fahrenheit.
Crow said that temperatures have not dropped this low since January of 2009, but slightly lower temps were recorded in January of 2004.
Initial winter storm warnings cautioned residents of potential snow hazards, but Crow said, “as it materialized, everything fell in the form of rain, then there was not as much moisture when the cold got here.”
While snow did not become an issue, wind chill warnings and advisories were in effect until Tuesday.
Grayson County Emergency Services Director Ernie Perkins said that any time bad weather creates a situation in which county residents cannot safely and comfortably stay in their homes, the old courthouse on Public Square is open as a warming shelter/storm shelter.
“Even if the weather is not this cold, the shelter is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Perkins said.
According to National Weather Service forecasters, local temperatures should be back to normal for the remainder of the week.
“We should see some low 50’s by Saturday, but it looks like it will be a little on the rainy side,” Crow said, adding that “Sunday will be the pick of the weekend, with temperatures in the low 50’s and a low chance of rain.”