Kentucky remains mostly dry despite recent rain

Published 12:20 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

Any rain that fell in Kentucky during the past seven days had only a minor effect on dry conditions in the state, according to the weekly U.S Drought Monitor report issued on Thursday.

A total of 32.97% of Kentucky is listed as having no drought, which is down from the 38.93% that was in last week’s report.  A total of 43.65% is considered “Abnormally Dry,” or D0 on the scale that measures drought conditions from D0 to D4, or “Exceptional Drought.”  The area designated as D1, or “Moderate Drought,” shrank slightly during the past seven days, going from 24.88% to 23.38%.  Once again, no part of Kentucky is in the D2 to D4 categories.

The biggest change was in the Jackson Purchase area west of Kentucky Lake, where the entire area has gone from no drought to Abnormally Dry.  Check the map that accompanies this story, to see how your county fared this week.  The data reporting period ends every Tuesday morning, with the report compiled and released Thursday mornings.

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Brad Pugh with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “A mix of degradations and improvements were made this past week across the Middle to Upper Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, and Corn Belt. The largest areas of degradation were focused across Indiana and Ohio where many areas have received less than 25% of their normal precipitation during the past 30 days and soil moisture indicators continue to decline.”

Looking ahead, Pugh said, “During the period ending October 5-9, a strong cold front is forecast to progress across the central and eastern U.S. with precipitation amounts of an inch or less across the Ohio Valley with heavier amounts (locally more than 2 inches) for southeastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas.”

He added, “A major temperature pattern change is likely during this five-day period as cooler-than-normal temperatures overspread the central and eastern U.S.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and NOAA.