As the 2021 hurricane season starts, South Central Kentucky could see impacts

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Tuesday marks the first day of the 2021 hurricane season and while we normally associate hurricanes and tropical storms with sandy shores several states away from South Central Kentucky, the region isn’t totally removed from the potential impacts of tropical storm systems.

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the prime areas for tropical storm and hurricane development because the relatively shallow waters of the gulf warm quickly and warm water is one of the key ingredients for hurricane and tropical storm formation. Coupled with the clockwise steering currents of a Bermuda high, the high pressure system that normally forms just off the Atlantic coast of the United States…it’s a recipe for tropical storm systems (or their remnants) to move right up I-65 into South Central Kentucky.

One of the impacts is a good one…much-needed rain during a typically dry time of year. But the other impacts aren’t so welcome: heavy rain can lead to flooding and even lost crops for farmers. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes often accompany tropical remnants. And if you’ve ever had to cancel a trip to a beachfront locale, you know the heartbreak watching these storms make landfall on your favorite beachfront resort. Some South Central Kentucky residents who own coastal property also likely cast a wary eye to the south when a tropical system moves into the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane season is a perfect example of just how connected one geographic area is with all other areas and of the interconnectedness between the atmosphere, ocean and land…even right here in South Central Kentucky.