Tornado near peak strength at 8:37 PM.
|Date||June 15, 2034|
|Touchdown location||7:23 PM CDT|
270 mph (estimated)
|Damage||$2.2 billion (2034 USD)|
|Areas affected||Northwestern and north-central Kentucky|
|Part of the|
2034 Tornado Season
The 2034 Taylorsville, Kentucky tornado was a very violent, long-tracked, and deadly EF5-rated tornado that struck northern Kentucky in the evening of Thursday, June 8, 2034. The tornado touched down at 7:23 pm CDT in rural Hardin County near Vine Grove before tracking northeast and slowly intensifying. The tornado reached EF5 strength as it approached and impacted Taylorsville, then continued for another 35 miles while slowly weakening. The tornado dissipated near the town of Midway in Woodford County at 9:31 pm CDT. The tornado's path was 73.70 miles long and 1,120 yards wide at its peak. Remaining on the ground for 1 hour and 48 minutes, the tornado was responsible for 16 fatalities and 68 injuries; an unusually high fatality-to-injury rate even among EF5 tornadoes. Damage in and near Taylorsville was determined to be of "extreme EF5" intensity, with the majority of the tornado's victims being killed in "recommended places"; i.e. basements and interior rooms on the lowest levels of their houses. Extreme vegatation damage was also observed along with the destruction of equipment at a construction site. The National Weather Service in Louisville considered the Taylorsville tornado to be "very possibly the strongest in Kentucky state history".
The Taylorsville tornado was one of only two tornadoes in Kentucky state history to be rated F5 or EF5, the other being the Brandenburg tornado on April 3, 1974. The Taylorsville tornado was also the first violent tornado in Kentucky since 2025, as well as the longest-tracked tornado in the state since 2012. The tornado was the third-deadliest of the year 2034, behind the Florissant, Missouri EF5 on the same day and the Warren, Arkansas EF3 on February 13. The formation of the Taylorsville tornado marked the first occurrance of two EF5-rated tornadoes touching down on the same day since the 2024 Super Outbreak, ten years earlier.
The Taylorsville tornado was part of a violent and long-lived outbreak sequence which produced 260 tornadoes from June 3 to June 16. The outbreak was produced by three separate storm systems. The first system consisted of clusters of supercells which developed over eastern Oklahoma on June 4, then reorganized into an intense squall line which moved through the Midwestern states on June 5 and into New England by June 6. Another intense outbreak of supercells began in Kansas on June 7 before reaching peak intensity on June 8.
A particularly intense heat wave preceded the outbreak, with temperatures recorded at 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) in St. Louis, Missouri at 12:50 pm and 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in Louisville, Kentucky at 1:20 pm. Dew points in both cities were measured in the low 20s Celsius (low 70's Fahrenheit). CAPE over the Illinois-Kentucky-Indiana tri-state area on June 8 was measured at 4,100 J/kg, with the presence of directional and speed shear as well as significant moisture return collectively giving rise to a particularly favourable environment for the development of numerous tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center described the meteorological conditions as "perhaps the most conducive for the formation of strong tornadoes in the area since 1990"; while the National Weather Service office in St. Louis described the outbreak as "unprecedented" in the region in terms of intensity.
The Storm Prediction Center issued an enhanced risk of severe weather for much of Kentucky, eastern Missouri, and southern Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as early as June 2; by June 4, the risk area had been expanded to include northern Tennessee, southern Missouri, and western West Virginia. A moderate risk of severe weather was added for most of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio on June 7; by the morning of June 8, the moderate risk was expanded west into central Missouri, while a high risk of severe weather was issued for southwestern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and northwestern Kentucky. The high risk was based on a 30% hatched risk of tornadoes; in the 1630 UTC convective outlook, the Storm Prediction Center issued a 45% hatched risk of tornadoes for an area including Louisville, Kentucky, Evansville, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio.
The supercell which produced the Taylorsville tornado developed over southwestern Kentucky at around 5:30 pm CDT and gradually intensified as it tracked northeast. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the developing supercell by 6:20 pm, and by 6:45 pm a tornado warning was issued as a powerful area of rotation developed within the core of the storm. At 7:01 pm, a brief and unconfirmed tornado was reported in rural Hart County; according to witnesses, the tornado rapidly dissipated, but the mesocyclone of the parent supercell continued to gain intensity.
The tornado touched down in Hardin County at 7:23 pm, inflicting EF0 and low-end EF1 damage to trees and the roofs of rural houses over the first two miles of its path. The tornado reached EF2 strength shortly before crossing the Bullitt County line, stripping the majority of the roof from a brick Presbyterian Church and flipping or rolling several nearby parked cars.
The tornado continued to intensify as it crossed into Bullitt County, removing the roofing from several rural frame houses to the north of Lebanon Junction before passing through forested areas, where thousands of trees were toppled or uprooted. As the tornado continued northeast, it rapidly expanded into a large wedge, prompting the issuance of a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado warning for Bullitt County. Clermont was struck at EF3 strength at 7:46 pm, where several frame houses were demolished, and several businesses and a Baptist church sustained severe damage. One fatality occurred in Clermont as a car was thrown 110 yards from Clermont Road into Cedar Lake, drowning the driver. An additional 11 people were injured. Past Clermont, the tornado weakened to EF2 strength, snapping or toppling hundreds more trees in wooded areas of eastern Bullitt County. A few rural houses in remote areas sustained minor to moderate damage near the fringes of the tornado's path. Nearing the Nelson County line, the tornado further weakened to EF1 strength, stripping a portion of the roof from a rural frame house before regaining strength extremely rapidly. Just west of the Nelson County line, trees were debarked at high-end EF3 strength in a swath 200 yards wide. The tornado reached a peak width of 1,120 yards as it crossed Deatsville Road, and a rare tornado emergency was issued for Nelson, Spencer, and Anderson Counties.
The tornado cut through Lenore at 7:59 pm at EF4 strength. Several houses in Lenore were demolished with three brick split-level houses being completely leveled; one house on Deatsville Road had most of its foundation swept clean. Several trees in and near Lenore were debarked as well, and parked cars were thrown up to 300 yards. One person was killed in Lenore, and six were injured. Continuing through Nelson County, the tornado swept away several buildings on a dairy farm near Old Louisville Road and debarked additional trees before crossing U.S. Route 31E. A small convenience store at the edge of the highway was swept away at EF4 strength, killing the store owner. Shortly afterward, the tornado entered Spencer County while continuing to gain strength.
Groves of trees were snapped or uprooted, with many being completely debarked and rural frame houses were swept away before the tornado struck Taylorsville at 8:14 pm CDT. 28 houses were cleanly swept away in Taylorsville, 16 of which were determined to have sustained EF5 damage. Many of the houses were newly built and well-anchored to their foundations; one concrete slab foundation was broken into three pieces, while at two other houses, some of the anchor bolts themselves were snapped off. Tiles were scoured from foundations, and the debris from obliterated houses was finely granulated. One large brick manor to the north of Taylorsville was reduced to an empty basement, with two of its basement walls collapsed. Several cars were tossed hundreds of yards and mangled beyond recognition, with the crumpled remains of one SUV found wrapped around a tree around 1.5 miles to the east of where it originated. Additionally, grass and several inches of soil was scoured from lawns, trees were reduced to featureless trunks or small stumps, a 10-tonne (22,000 lb) steel fertilizer tank was tossed a full mile over several undamaged fences, and extensive wind-rowing of debris occurred. Damage surveys assigned an EF5 rating to the damage in Taylorsville, with estimated wind speeds of 270 miles per hour. Nine fatalities and 32 injuries occurred in Taylorsville. The National Weather Service office in Louisville would describe the damage within the town as "possibly the most extreme ever recorded in Kentucky".
Past Taylorsville, the tornado weakened to EF4 strength, leveling a cluster of barns on a poultry farm. The tornado then crossed Little Mt Road and struck another residential area, leveling or sweeping away another 23 houses before moving over farmland for the next five miles of its path. Despite the rural nature of the area, damage remained intense in northeastern Spencer County, with many barns and farmhouses being flattened or completely swept away. Numerous trees were uprooted or debarked in the area as well, and grass was scoured from hillsides. As the tornado passed to the southeast of Rivals, it weakened further to EF3 strength, demolishing two well-constructed neighboring farmhouses, resulting in one death and four injuries. Barns on a hog farm were leveled in this area, resulting in the deaths of approximately 200 pigs. The tornado tossed a moving tractor-trailer from U.S. Route 248 at mid-range EF3 strength, severely injuring the driver, then continued through forested areas, where thousands of trees were toppled or snapped, with some softwood trees being debarked.
The tornado reintensified to EF5 strength as it neared the Shelby County line while reaching a peak width of 1,120 yards. The small unincorporated community of Mt. Eden was struck at 8:23 pm, and almost completely enveloped by the tornado. 21 houses in Mt. Eden were swept away, with debris finely granulated and wind-rowed into prominent streaks through fields. Grass was scoured from the ground in Mt. Eden and wheat crop in nearby fields was shredded down to two-inch stubble as well. A pickup truck was located in a field 1.2 miles to the east and mangled beyond recognition, while two cars were found 800 yards from the town in opposite directions. Three fatalities and five injuries occurred in Mt. Eden. The tiny community was mostly empty at the time the tornado struck, with most residents having been evacuated four days earlier due to a gas leak; this likely prevented the death toll from rising much higher.
The tornado then continued into Shelby County at 8:37 pm, sweeping away several barns and outbuildings and scouring additional crops from the ground. Passing to the south of the unincorporated community of Harrisonville, the tornado narrowed to 750 yards in width but may have reached peak strength for a second time as it struck a construction site. An industrial crane weighing over 200 tons was blown over and rolled for over 100 yards, three 5,000-pound concrete blocks were thrown a half-mile from the site, and a front-end loader and a steamroller were tossed 600 yards and found shredded and crumpled together. Despite the intensity of the tornado, no fatalities or serious injuries occurred in Shelby County.
Surveys determined that the tornado maintained EF5 strength as it continued into Anderson County, debarking hundreds more trees and deeply scouring the ground in rural areas. A large mansion to the south of the small community of Avenstoke was cleanly swept away, resulting in the deaths of the two homeowners. The tornado weakened to mid-range EF4 strength shortly before crossing the Franklin County line, leveling a gas station and sweeping away several poultry barns. As the tornado passed into Franklin County, a garden center was leveled with several trees and shrubs being completely debarked. Crossing Interstate 64, the tornado scoured patches of pavement from the highway, suggesting "plausible EF5" strength. A tornado emergency was issued for the city of Frankfort at 8:51 pm; at around the same time, the town of Bridgeport was struck by the tornado at low-end EF4 strength. Well-constructed houses in the small village were demolished or completely leveled, and the Bridgeport Apartments complex was almost entirely demolished. Trees were uprooted and debarked in Bridgeport as well, and five people were injured.
Continuing through the far southern outskirts of Frankfort, the tornado rapidly weakened to EF2 strength, removing the roofs from several frame houses and causing moderate roofing damage to the Frankfort Regional Medical Center. Although damage was considerable in places, no fatalities or major injuries occurred within the Frankfort city limits. Shortly after crossing the Woodford County line, the tornado weakened further to EF0 strength, causing minor roofing damage to a few farmhouses and snapping tree branches. As it passed to the north of Millville, the tornado regained EF2 strength, leveling a tractor shed and toppling a grain bin. A nearby farmhouse lost its roof and a portion of one of its second-floor walls, and the homeowner was injured. EF0 and EF1-level damage occurred over the final four miles of the tornado's path, where rural houses lost portions of their roofing and additional trees were toppled. The tornado narrowed from a large cone to a narrow stovepipe shortly before crossing Interstate 64 a second time, and ultimately dissipated between the towns of Midway and White Sulphur at 9:31 pm CDT.
Casualties and impact
The tornado caused extreme damage in Taylorsville, Mt. Eden, Harrisonville, and Lenore, with moderate to considerable damage occurring in several other towns. In the immediate aftermath of the tornado, 14 people were killed and 70 others were injured. 55 of the injured were hospitalized, with 18 reported to be in critical condition in the days following the tornado. A 67-year old man died of severe head trauma on June 12, while a 31-year old woman died from complications of blunt-force trauma to the heart, sternum, and ribcage on July 6, bringing the final death toll to 16. Of the 68 people injured in the tornado, seven were left with permanent disabilities. In addition to the human casualties, several hundred livestock were killed, and thousands of crops were shredded or scoured down to stubble.
Property damage from the Taylorsville tornado exceeded $1.3 billion, making it the eighth-costliest tornado in United States history at the time. The "Twin Cities tornado" on July 16, 2039 caused $1.5 billion in damage, pushing the Taylorsville tornado to ninth place, where it still stands. Damage surveys described the intensity of the destruction in Taylorsville and Mt. Eden as "phenomenal" and compared the severity to the damage left by the tornadoes in the 2011 and 2024 Super Outbreaks.
The Taylorsville tornado was the first tornado to be rated F5 or EF5 in Kentucky since the Brandenburg tornado on April 3, 1974, and the deadliest tornado in the state since the Thompkinsville tornado on February 5, 2008. Additionally, the Taylorsville tornado was described by at least one damage survey as "very possibly the strongest in Kentucky state history".
- Tornado outbreak sequence of June 2034
- 2034 Florissant, Missouri tornado
- 2034 Austin–Lancaster, Indiana tornado
- 2024 Alexandria, Kentucky tornado