Monday, January 26, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Posted on 2/2/14

WAYNE HART 1Meteorologist Wayne Hart explains severe spring weather patterns to audience April 10 at the Central City Convention Center.CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (4/11/14) — Many evenings at 6 p.m. Muhlenberg County residents spend some time with Wayne Hart, chief meteorologist for WEHT and WTVW.

However, on Thursday night, April 10 at 6 p.m., Hart brought his vast weather knowledge live to the Central City Convention Center for a Severe Weather presentation.

Hart was invited by Central City Mayor Barry Shaver to alert Muhlenberg County residents to the fact that warmer spring and summer weather mean severe weather will hit sooner or later.

"Many people think I just come in 15 minutes before the newscast and read the weather forecast off a teleprompter," Wayne Hart said to a group of citizens in Central City. "But I have spent much of my life learning all I can to bring this area reliable weather."

Hart earned a degree from Cornell University before working as a meteorologist at WLKY in Louisville and a brief stay at CNN before joining 25-WEHT in 1993.

With the tri-state's decade plus history of tornadic activity, Hart gave the audience some warnings they have heard before, but bear repeating.

"Much of what I'll tell you is just common sense, like turn around, don't drown," Hart said.

"The number one vehicle that gets washed away are big 4 wheel drive trucks, because people think they can drive through water with a bigger vehicle. But you have no idea if there is even pavement under you if you cannot see the road due to high water."

Hart also told the audience to never take a shower or talk on your home's land line phone during a storm.

"Never stand under a tree or touch your home's electrical cords during a storm," Hart said. "Don't let your children play on television video games that involve cords connected to any type of electrical system. These are all connected to outside wires, and they can and do allow lightning to come into your home, and even kill you if you are not careful. Indoors and out, lightning is one of our biggest concerns. Because we hope we won't see any tornadoes this year, but you can bet we'll see some lighting."

Hart noted that nationwide, lightning kills almost 90 people each year in the U.S. alone.  

WAYNE HART fire chiefCentral City Fire Chief Rick King explains the county's new siren system during Wayne Hart's Severe Weather presentation April 10.

Regarding weather sirens, Hart warned that sirens should never be your only source of weather information.

"These sirens are meant specially to alert people who are outdoors of potentially bad weather," Hart noted. "I hear too often, after a storm, someone will say they didn't hear the siren. If you're indoors, it's not designed for you to hear it. But when bad weather does hit, the first thing to do is get inside, turn on the television or radio and see what is happening weather wise. Every home needs a weather radio, with fresh batteries. Your weather radio is your best line of defense. The best thing is to have are multiple ways to get weather information. Emails, smart phones, the more sources of information the better, because one source can always go out in severe weather."

Hart traced reviewed some of the more intense tornadoes over the past decade, including the January 3, 2000 tornado.

"We were all concerned about the Y2K computer virus scare, but no one was expecting something like this," Hart said.

The most recent severe tornado was the February 29, 2012 Leap Day tornado that left several people dead in Harrisburg, Illinois.

"This was a very unusual tornado," Hart noted. "We had several outbreaks in the morning hours, which is very unusual. We had an F2 tornado at 8:45 in the morning, with 120 mph winds. Then on March 2, 2012, we had the Henryville, Indiana tornado, which killed several people. And then West Liberty, Ky. was hit. That a bad three days we had just two years ago."

Hart said that the tri-state is also prone to have a lot of tornadoes at night.

"If you look at statistics we are least likely to have a tornado between sunrise and noon," Hart said.  .

One nighttime tornado took a direct hit on Muhlenberg County, Hart said, on February 5, 2008, leaving several dead, and enormous damage and total destruction of homes throughout the county. He reminded many of the event with pictures of the event that leveled homes in Central City's Gaslight Park, and also leveled D and P Auto Sales, along with many homes and structures throughout the county.  

"Once again this was a February tornado, this time an F3 with 160 mph winds," Hart said. "There were three fatalities in one mobile home in Muhlenberg County. We were on the edge of a major outbreak that night. There were over 50 fatalities nationwide, mostly in the Tennessee Valley. For some reason we often see some of our biggest tornadoes in the late winter around here."

Mayor Shaver raised the question of what seems like an increase in tornadoes over the past decade.

WAYNE HART groupWayne Hart fields questions from the audience after his Severe Weather presentation, April 10 at Central City Convention Center.

Hart said that there has seemed to be an increase since 2000 in the number of tornadoes in the tri-state area.

"We have had tornadoes in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012," Hart said. "The good news seems to be that we are possibly heading into a period of fewer tornadoes, we hope. The past two years things have seemed to quiet down a bit. I don't really get into the argument or study possible climate change, or long range predictions. I am a short range specialist. But it does seem that these storms go more in climate cycles."

But whatever the cycles, the best time for bad weather is now, during the months of April, May and June, Hart noted.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
1 DOW 17,672.60
-141.38 (-0.79%)    
2 S&P 2,051.82
-11.33 (-0.55%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,757.88
+7.48 (0.16%)    
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

January 19, 2015 9070

Two-Year-Old Child Dies after Being Struck by…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul Ray
January 19, 2015 8940

UPDATE - Lady Mustangs Fall to South Warren

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
January 23, 2015 7780

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 6853

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 20, 2015 6757

Bridal, Prom, Pageant Expo Planned for February…

in Hopkins News by Dana Brown
January 23, 2015 5446

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 5387

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 4868

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 20377

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20021

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 25, 2015 2976

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 2408

School Board Hears Public Comments Regarding…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 24, 2015 1973

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Chris E. King
January 24, 2015 1649

PSC Bars $54 Million in Kentucky Power Fuel Cost…

in General News For All Sites by Andrew Melnykovych
January 25, 2015 1599

UPDATE: Two Die, Two Injured in Two-Vehicle…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Dispatcher Dustin Staves
January 24, 2015 1599

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 24, 2015 1596

Kentucky 2014 Highway Fatality Figures Released

in General News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 24, 2015 1493

Keeping the Faith - 'What It's Good For'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 24, 2015 1425

Busting the Myths of Leadership

in General News For All Sites by David Taylor
January 24, 2015 1297

Hooked on Science - Feather Balance

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
January 24, 2015 1222

Spelling Bee Contest Winners Announced

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Joyce Riggs
January 24, 2015 1014

Burrough: Tech Center Construction on Schedule

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News