Latest rain helps but not drought-buster in Kentucky

Published 10:48 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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The rain in Kentucky over the past seven days was not enough to be considered a drought-buster, but did result in some areas experiencing an improvement, while others were simply kept from getting worse.

According to the U.S Drought Monitor report issued Thursday, based on data for the seven days ending the morning of June 20, only 16.35% of Kentucky is in a “no drought” situation.  That does show an improvement from last week, when it was 9.89%.

On the scale that goes from D0, “abnormally dry,” to D4, “exceptional drought,” 54.49% of Kentucky is now considered to be D0.  That is a decline from last week’s 59.00%.  The area that is categorized as being in a moderate drought, D1, also shrunk slightly this week, from 31.12% to 29.16%.  No part of Kentucky has the D2-D4 designations.

See the map that accompanies this story for the drought categories for the state.

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Adam Hartman with the National Weather Service says, “Toward the end of last weekend, a slow-moving storm system traversing eastward across the Middle Mississippi and Ohio Valleys resulted in periods of heavy rainfall across portions of the eastern U.S.  However, much of the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and the Northeast experienced a mix of worsening and improving drought conditions based on antecedent dryness and where the heaviest rain fell, respectively.”

He also noted, “Another round of deterioration was warranted again this week across much of the Midwest and eastern Great Plains, where below average precipitation continued to add to precipitation deficits that go back several months.  The exception to this was across the eastern Corn Belt and into parts of Kentucky, where seven-day rainfall totals helped to improve drought conditions, or at least halt further degradation.”

The long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, covering the period June 27-July 1, calls for below-normal temperatures in Kentucky except for the far west, where normal temperatures are expected; with near normal to slightly above normal precipitation.