Kentucky has improvement in drought situation

Published 1:37 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

Kentucky was one of the few states in the Midwest Region that saw some improvement in the drought situation, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report that was released on Thursday.

Curtis Riganti with the National Drought Mitigation Center said, “Precipitation was mostly scant across the Midwest region this week, with the exception of parts of Ohio and Kentucky, which led to some improvements in drought conditions in parts of north-central and eastern Kentucky.”

Breaking down some of the numbers in the latest report, the area of Kentucky considered to have no drought now stands at 22.79%, which is up from 18.78% reported last week.  The “Abnormally Dry” area, which is D0 on a scale that goes up to D4 (“Exceptional Drought), has shrunk from 32.21% to 29.14% over the past seven days.  The only category that saw an increase in drought was “Moderate Drought” or D1, which grew from 29.24% to 37.39% this week, but that is actually an encouraging sign, since the “Severe Drought” area, or D2, shrunk from 19.57% to 10.68%, making up most of the difference.

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Taking a look at the long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 6–10-day period is likely to see above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation statewide.  The 8-14 Day forecast is calling for above normal temperatures statewide, with near normal precipitation in the west, and slightly below normal precipitation in the rest of Kentucky.

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

Data is collected on Tuesday mornings, with the report issued on Thursdays.