Tuesday, January 27, 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
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8498

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 20, 2015 7273

Bridal, Prom, Pageant Expo Planned for February…

in Hopkins News by Dana Brown
January 22, 2015 7102

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 5880

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 23, 2015 5641

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 22, 2015 5431

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 21, 2015 4845

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 23, 2015 4453

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 20522

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

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20257

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

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

Stories Trending Today

January 25, 2015 4180

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 26, 2015 2648

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 2360

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

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Dispatcher Dustin Staves
January 26, 2015 2131

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 2112

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 25, 2015 1693

Market Commentary - Jan. 25, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
January 25, 2015 1683

Kynect Enrollment Climbs as Countdown to Feb. 15…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 25, 2015 1554

March 20-22 Women's Retreat: 'Holiness in Family…

in Owensboro News by Jennifer Kaminski
January 25, 2015 1432

Legislator's Log - Week of Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
January 25, 2015 1423

Dave Says - Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
January 25, 2015 1232

Outdoor Truths - Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
January 26, 2015 1151

Madisonville Post Welcomes New Troopers

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke