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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 11-4-22

Dry November in the forecast...Drought to persist

Happy Friday, folks! It's hard to beat highs in the mid to upper 70s for early November (record territory)! In this weeks Ag Weather Update, I wanted to start out with the November edition of the Kentucky Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrological Conditions. Chip Zimmer of the Kentucky Division of Water took hosting duties this month, where the main subject continues to be drought. Underneath, I provided a narrative of some of the key points.

The state averaged about three quarters of an inch last week behind a couple rounds of rainfall, one Tuesday/Tuesday night and the other on Sunday. Below is a look at those accumulations. The highest totals were seen across Western and Central KY where many exceeded an inch. Totals diminished farther east, but most still saw at least a half inch. In this end, this was the first solid rainfall much of the state had seen since the start of September!

Even with the showers, most of Kentucky is still running 1-3 inches below normal over the past 30 days. Looking at some preliminary data from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, the state averaged 1.38 inches for the month of October. While not official yet, this would rank in the top 20 driest Octobers ever recorded.

Looking at the November 3rd update to the U.S. Drought Monitor, it was pretty much status quo for the Bluegrass State with last week's rainfall. Over 82% of Kentucky remains in a drought. Saying that, let's take wider look across the United States (map below). Over 85% of the country is now experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions, the highest percentage ever recorded in the U.S. Drought Monitor's history!

Unfortunately, forecasts and outlooks don't point toward a wet November in Kentucky. We'll see some showers arrive this weekend, but once again, nothing too noteworthy. Below is a look at those forecast accumulations. The highest totals will likely miss our region to the west. In some good news, this will benefit much of the Mississippi River basin. In addition, we'll see temperatures remain above normal for another week.

Below is a look at the latest U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for the month of November. This has the Commonwealth going in the wrong direction with drought persisting across the region and even expanding across Eastern Kentucky. This is the same trend across much of the Southeast. Bottom line, nothing in the forecast or outlooks points toward improving conditions anytime soon.

As a side note, there's been some information circulating that portions of the Mississippi River have seen some of the lowest levels since the 1980s. In a coincidence, I've been cleaning out the Ag Weather Center and just came across this newspaper article from 1988. History has unfortunately repeated itself!

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Related News from UK and Beyond

Kentucky Crop Progress and Condition Report - USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office, October 31, 2022

Kentucky Forage News - UK Forage Specialists, November 1, 2022

Preventing and Managing Fall Pests In Your Home - Dr. Jonathan Larson, UK Extension Entomology Professor, October 26, 2022


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