A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY area ‘abnormally dry,’ some parts of state in ‘severe dought’ category, and there’s no end in sight

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) — Dry conditions in Kentucky have led to part of the state being placed in the “Severe Drought” category by the U.S. Drought Monitor this week.

The U.S Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The U.S. Drought map shows white areas having no drought, yellow classified as abnormally dry, tan is moderate drought orange is severe drought.

They say temperatures in the middle 90s coupled with a 60-day rainfall that has been less than 30 percent of normal, has led to around ten percent of Kentucky placed in the severe drought category.

In addition, the U. S. Department of Agriculture reports topsoil moisture as “86 percent poor to very poor in Kentucky.”

Reports from the field indicate Kentucky is experiencing the same type of “flash drought” that is being observed across much of the south.

The Drought Monitor says parts of Kentucky with no drought conditions dropped from 33 percent last week to less than six percent currently.

Areas considered abnormally dry dropped from 41 percent to 36 percent, but that’s because more areas have moved to a drought condition.


he moderate drought area has expanded from 26 percent of Kentucky to 48 percent, and as mentioned earlier, around ten percent is in severe drought.

As of Friday, only the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport in Covington has reported having over a half-inch of rainfall in September, with 0.61 inches. Paducah is next at 0.32 inches, and Bowling Green has seen 0.21 inches. All other National Weather Service reporting stations have had less than a tenth of an inch, with Lexington and Jackson measuring only a trace.

No relief is in sight next week, as temperatures are forecast to challenge record highs, with little or no rain.

Feature photo by Aimee Nielson, UK CAFE: dry pastures

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