Snow and ice stopped falling for awhile on the night of the 9th into the morning of the 10th…perhaps leading some to believe the worst was over. Travel became hazardous on the afternoon and evening of the 9th. Few could have believed a paralyzing ice storm was just hours away from developing on Tuesday, Feb. Monday featured some of the coldest daytime readings South-Central KY has experienced since then. But clearing the ice and snow was easier said then done. Back to that in a moment.
As temperatures tumbled from an early morning high in the lower 30s down into the teens by evening, all travel came to a halt! As skies cleared and winds relaxed on the morning of the 19th, record low after record low went by the wayside. Travel became hazardous on the afternoon and evening of the 9th. But the damage had been done. Monday featured some of the coldest daytime readings South-Central KY has experienced since then. That, my friends, was the TKO. Rain began falling in Bowling Green around mid-afternoon, freezing on contact. But clearing the ice and snow was easier said then done. Few could have believed a paralyzing ice storm was just hours away from developing on Tuesday, Feb. At least one lane of I and the Natcher Parkway were opened, with both thoroughfares reopen by Friday as the State of Emergency was finally lifted. To the north along the Ohio River, the mix changed to a very heavy snow in Paducah, Owensboro, and Louisville. Daytime temperatures hovered near 0 in Bowling Green, with wind chills near Arctic cold was already in place. The night of January 16, was one of those times when all the right ingredients for a major winter storm came together for the lower Ohio Valley. The high that day reached a near record warm 72 degrees! The next few weeks saw generally milder weather for Kentucky. A renewed round of moisture moved in from out of Arkansas and West Tennessee that afternoon. Natural gas explosions took out several homes near downtown Bowling Green during the height of this arctic outbreak. Bowling Green woke up to a reading of -1, which is the last time we had subzero with no snow on the ground. For some homes and businesses, power was out as much as two weeks after the event. Winter Storm Warnings had been hoisted for the entire region. The air aloft had warmed while surface temperatures were still in the mid 20s. All interstates and parkways were shut down so they could be cleared. This was a recipe for trouble. With readings so cold, salt was rendered useless on Kentucky roads for several days after the early week winter storm. By nightfall, a messy mix of freezing rain and sleet had developed across Western KY, spreading eastward as the evening wore on.
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