After Lexington's seventh-wettest year ever, Arctic cold is on the way

jwarren@herald-leader.comDecember 31, 2013 

A pedestrian crossed Broadway in the rain in downtown Lexington, Ky., on Thursday. Colder, wet and potentially icy weather is expected in Lexington Thursday night and Friday. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

PABLO ALCALA — Lexington Herald-Leader Buy Photo

If you thought the weather was a little damp in 2013, you were right.

WKYT-TV chief meteorologist Chris Bailey said Tuesday afternoon that 2013 would go down as the seventh-wettest year on record in Lexington.

Bailey said 59.53 inches of rain fell in 2013.

Weather records in Lexington go back to the 1870s.

Lexington's wettest year was 2011, when 66.35 inches fell. Lexington typically gets about 45 inches of rain a year.

Bailey noted that three of the city's seven wettest years — 2004, 2011 and 2013 — occurred in the past decade. Two were in the past three years.

It's too early to say that Central Kentucky's weather definitely is turning wetter, but Bailey said things have skewed toward the wet end of the spectrum in recent years.

"This summer was the third-wettest on record in Lexington, with 21.78 inches of rain," he said. "June was our 10th-wettest June ever, with 7.54 inches. And July was our sixth-wettest July ever, with 9.10 inches."

October usually is a dry month in Central Kentucky. But not in recent years, Bailey said.

"Among the 10 wettest Octobers on record in Lexington, you now have 2004, 2007, 2002, 2006, 2013 and 2009.

"So, all of a sudden, our falls have become very wet. We'll see how it goes from here."

In the short term, however, where we're probably going is colder, Bailey said.

"I think that early next week, we have a good shot at seeing sub-zero temperatures here," he said. "A huge Arctic outbreak is probably going to take over much of the country before the week is over.

Lexington already has seen its share of winter weather, he said, "and probably the worst is yet to come."

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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