Kentucky being impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Laura might make you wonder how often this happens. Actually, every now and then, a tropical cyclone finds its way to the Blue Grass State. 

What You Need To Know

  • Tropical cyclones can be tropical depressions, tropical storms, or hurricanes

  • From 1990-2019, Kentucky has been hit by eight tropical depressions 

  • Impacts are usually in the form of heavy rain, gusty winds, and tornadoes

Kentucky is all too familiar with severe weather, including tornadoes, damaging wind, hail, flooding, and winter storms.

It’s less common for tropical systems to make it to the Commonwealth, but it does happen from time to time.  

From 1990 to 2019, Kentucky has been hit by 8 tropical depressions.

Starting with 2018, Tropical Depression Alberto paid a visit to the state.

This pre-season storm made a landfall across the Florida Panhandle as a tropical storm on May 28. It then hit western Kentucky as a tropical depression the morning of May 30. 

It brought wind gusts over 30 mph and several inches of rain. Near Paducah, there was a rainfall report of 3.6 inches, with 3 inches reported in Hopkinsville at Fort Campbell. 


In 2005, three tropical depressions made it to the Commonwealth.

Arlene moved across western Kentucky on June 12, dropping 1 to 3 inches of rain.  


Dennis clipped extreme western Kentucky the night of July 11 and into the morning of July 12. It then meandered over southern Indiana as a non-tropical low for a few days before lifting north.

The infamous Hurricane Katrina decimated the northern Gulf Coast and then made its way into Kentucky as a much weaker tropical depression. Yet, it managed to bring wind gusts over 40 mph with multiple heavy rain reports.  

In 2004, Tropical Depression Frances clipped eastern Kentucky, dropping 4.26 inches of rain in Jackson.

Prior to that, in 2002, Isidore journeyed across eastern Kentucky.

Between 1990 and 2001, there was only one year with tropical activity in the Commonwealth.

In 1995, Tropical Depression Erin danced along the Ohio River, crossing northern Kentucky on August 5 and August 6. Then, Tropical Depression Opal slid across eastern Kentucky on October 5. 

Typically, the Bluegrass State and tropical weather don’t go hand-in-hand. However, it’s not as uncommon as one might think.