3 counties stay ‘abnormally dry’ on drought monitor

Published 11:43 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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Despite picking up over an inch of rain over the past week, three Kentucky counties remain “Abnormally Dry,” according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report that was released on Thursday.

Portions of Ballard, Livingston, and McCracken counties along the Ohio River remain in that lowest category of drought, even though the only official climate reporting station in the three counties, the National Weather Service office in Paducah, reported 1.36 inches of rain during the period Jan. 17-23.

The affected areas included in that category make up 1.08% of Kentucky’s land area, and represent no change at all from the Jan. 19 report. Around half of each county is considered abnormally dry.  See the map that accompanies this story.

Dating back to the Dec. 20, 2022 report, it indicated 5.87% of Kentucky was in Moderate Drought, D1 in the scale that goes from D0 (Abnormally Dry) to D4 (Exceptional Drought). 60.27% was D0, and only 33.86% was considered to have no drought.

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The deepest drought conditions in the state over the past six months were reported on Oct. 25. 4.94% of Kentucky was D3, or Extreme Drought.  34.17% was D2, or Severe Drought; 43.11% was listed as D1; 16.87% as D0 and 0.91% with no drought.  Western Kentucky, especially the Purchase Region, suffered the worst from the drought conditions during this time, although the entire state was affected to some degree.

The last time Kentucky was 100% drought-free was March 29, 2022.