Report: Fourth of state no longer in drought

Published 10:30 am Friday, October 27, 2023

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Despite rain that fell in parts of Kentucky during the past week, the area of the state considered to have drought conditions expanded, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor released on Thursday.

More than a fourth (26.11%) of Kentucky has no drought in the latest report, down slightly from 26.25% last week. The region designated “Abnormally Dry” (which is D0 on the drought monitor scale running from D0 to D4, or “Exceptional Drought”) has also shrunk to 36.61%, compared to 38.86% a week ago.

The remainder of the state, 37.28% rates in “Moderate Drought” or D1, up from 34.89% in the previous Drought Monitor.  Fortunately, there are no areas in D2, D3, or D4 currently in Kentucky.  Northern and Northeast Kentucky saw a slight improvement overall, but the Jackson Purchase area, which is west of Land Between the Lakes, saw the largest increase in moderate drought.  See the map that accompanies this story.

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Looking ahead across the country, the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook  covering the period October 28 to November 2, favors near to above-normal precipitation throughout much of contiguous U.S., and Alaska with below-normal precipitation most likely from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains, across much of Hawaii and in parts of southeast Alaska. Increased probabilities for below-normal temperatures are forecast for much of the contiguous U.S. while above-normal temperatures are likely from Louisiana to New England, as well as much of Alaska and Hawaii.

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 the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The seven-day period for collecting precipitation data ends on Tuesday morning, with the report issued each Thursday.