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Louisville sees 3rd warmest December on record

A creek in Louisville following last weekend's rains.
A creek in Louisville following last weekend's rains.

Not a trace of snow fell last month in Louisville amid the city’s third warmest December on record. 

Louisville’s average temperature last month was 49.9 degrees. That’s about 10 degrees above normal and is the third warmest December on record. The second warmest winter was in 2015 with an average temperature of 50 degrees. Before that, the last time it was this hot in December was in 1889. 

University of Kentucky Interim state climatologist Megan Schargorodski says Louisville’s December weather was driven by warm air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. 

“The La Nina disrupts what the general pattern of weather is and so it is bringing up just a bit more of the warmer temperatures and moisture than what we normally have,” Schargorodski said. 

Ordinarily, Louisville would have had about 2.2 inches of snow by now, but it hasn’t yet had its first first snowfall. Instead, the city saw about 3.76 inches of rain, which is slightly below normal. 

A Climate Central review of temperature norms over the last 60 years found winter is the fastest warming season in Kentucky due to man-made climate change.

Louisville December averages have warmed 3.7 degrees since 1970, according to a Climate Central analysis of climate normals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jessica Lee said the city will cool off over the next week or two with the first chances for snow arriving over the next week.  


Ryan Van Velzer is the Kentucky Public Radio Managing Editor. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.

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