LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Dec. 2021 was riddled with tornadoes, and the National Weather Service (NWS) called it a “historical month” in their month-in-review report on Jan. 4.
According to NWS, the month saw a record number of severe weather reports, a record number of tornadoes, the first December tornado in Minnesota history, the most mesoscale discussions issued in a day, and as for Kentucky, the tornado that hit western areas of the state recorded the 9th longest tornado track.
The EF4 tornado spanned over 1 mile wide with estimated peak winds of around 190 mph and was on the ground for over 166 miles across Tennessee and Kentucky with 128 of those miles continuous.
Portions of western Kentucky, including Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Bowling Green, and Bremen, sustained heavy damage. Kentucky reported 76 deaths from the devastating tornadoes.
Kentucky was granted a federal state of emergency declaration almost immediately. In addition, Gov. Beshear launched the “Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund”. The fund proceeded to raise over 18,000 donations totaling over $2.3 million by Dec. 12.
Across the U.S., there were 1,700 miles of track from 193 surveyed tornadoes in December which is almost double the previous record of 97 tornadoes in 2002.
In 2021 as a whole, there were 1,374 tornadic events according to the NWS annual summary. The annual summary continued to show that Dec. 10 ranks first in the top 10 tornado days with 102 surveyed tornadoes.