Welcome from our Director
As the new Kentucky State Climatologist, let me welcome you to the Kentucky Climate Center (KCC).
Foremost, the Kentucky Climate Center (KCC) is home to the State Climate Office and Kentucky Mesonet, located here in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on the beautiful campus of Western Kentucky University. Comprised of an expert team of faculty, staff, and students, our primary mission is to help the state of Kentucky - state and local governments, private industry, academia, and the general public - prepare for and mitigate against the negative effects from high-impact weather and climate.
As history demonstrates, Kentuckians are vulnerable to a wide variety of severe weather, including floods, droughts, severe winds, snow, ice, hail and tornadoes. Subtle shifts and changes in climate, as is caused by El Nino and La Nina, can exacerbate these impacts on Kentucky. But the good news is that there is much more that can be done to lessen these impacts. Through its many partnerships and applied climatology program, the KCC's innovative work is contributing to making the Commonwealth safer, its economy more robust, and its infrastructure more secure.
But beyond that, we also want the Kentucky Climate Center to be your home for sharing your weather stories, anecdotes, and photos from your Kentucky history. Climate records aren't limited to numbers and figures; a complete and thorough climate record includes the enduring human impacts that those events have on us.
One personal memento that I'll treasure is my grandfather's personal diary of the Louisville flood of 1937. He describes in detail how he and many others rescued families from their homes. While the precipitation figures from that winter reflect a uniquely rare event, it's the stories and photos from those floods that paint a much more holistic understanding.
My first recollection of extreme weather was a heavy snow in January of 1978. Looking back at the historical record, that single snow event was but one of several that winter, comprising one of the snowiest and coldest periods in recent Kentucky history. Yet it was the impacts from that snow that left its mark - it snowed so much that my kindergarten class was canceled the entire month. And it's from these stories that we learn to appreciate the challenges of nature, but also how we can better prepare ourselves for it going forward.
Please consider joining us in educational outreach, a research collaboration, and the sharing of your weather stories. We look forward to serving you and the state of Kentucky!
Jerry Brotzge, PhD
Director, Kentucky Climate Center
Collect, Disseminate, and Assess the weather and climate information across the Commonwealth
Lead research, educational, and outreach activities in collaboration with federal, state, and local governments; private sector firms; universities; and non-profit organizations