My grandmother always said, "Be careful what you want; you just might get it." Well, we wanted that sweltering heat wave to end, and we got it in the form of severe thunderstorms that ripped across Kentucky on Friday.

From west to east, reports and images were posted about downed trees laying across roads or, even worse, on homes. The storms also did a number on some power lines, too.

Early Friday morning, I had to drive to Robards, Kentucky, and right at the point where I was crossing the Green River on the Audubon Parkway, a massive thunderstorm blew through, forcing me to slow way down because I couldn't see through the windshield. About the time I was going to pull to the shoulder, it had let up considerably. But that's just because I was heading west and IT was heading east. It had a lot more work to do. When it got to me, it had already done this in Paducah.

In Reidland, near Paducah, trees were cut in half or just plain uprooted.

Look what happened in Georgetown, just north of Lexington.

After we'd dealt with all the storms and those damaging straight-line winds, folks in central and eastern Kentucky got a belly full. And I learned something I wasn't sure I knew. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center will issue an Enhanced/Level 3 threat for severe weather if the main culprit IS damaging straight-line winds; a tornado risk doesn't necessarily have to be in play.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service

That was the case in eastern Kentucky Friday afternoon after parts of central Kentucky began cleaning up from the storm.

Here in WESTERN Kentucky--and eventually in the eastern part of the Commonwealth--we can get ready for what this cold front will yield; much cooler temperatures are on the way for the weekend before the heat ramps back up.

Let's get out and enjoy it.

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Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

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