Ag Weather Center-white.png

Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 3-30-22

Severe Weather/High Winds Today (3/30)

First thing is first; we have a very active weather day ahead with everything from favorable conditions for spreading fires this afternoon to severe storms later in the day. This is all part of a potent storm system that will move through the area over the course of the next 24 hours. Time to be weather aware!

Starting out the day, we’ll have winds increase tremendously from the south. Expect to see wind gusts top 40 mph this afternoon for just about everywhere across the state and even some surpassing 50. Make sure to have any loose objects secured! The breezy winds will usher a much warmer air mass into the region with highs topping out in the upper 70s to low 80s! Normal high temperatures for this time of year run in the low to middle 60s. While I think we’ll all welcome some warm temperatures, the high winds combined with low relative humidity across the eastern half of the state creates a VERY favorable environment for the rapid spread of fires. Bottom line…..DO NOT BURN TODAY.

A strong line of showers and storms will start moving into Western Kentucky late this afternoon/early evening ahead of a cold front, eventually pushing into Central and Eastern Kentucky after sunset and into the overnight. While the highest probabilities of severe weather will be to our south (centered across Mississippi), Kentucky could see some damaging winds (highest risk) and a few tornadoes. Below is a look at the current convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center. Western KY carries the highest risk for severe weather today (enhanced risk), while a slight risk of severe weather extends to just west of the I-75 corridor. If you have friends or family down and around Mississippi, give them a call and make sure their up to speed. Conditions really don’t look good down that way with strong tornadoes and 70+ mph damaging winds on the table. 


The highest rain accumulations with this system will be located across Western Kentucky with a quick-hitting 1+ inch on the table. Those accumulations gradually diminish as this system moves east across the state and loses intensity. Less than a quarter inch across Eastern Kentucky. Through March 29th, data from the Ag Weather Center shows the state has averaged 2.69 inches, which is about 1.5 inches below normal. I included a map below of the month-to-date precipitation departures across the state. The highest negative deviations are located across South Central KY with some 2-3 inches below normal. The thin stripe of above normal deviations along the parkways is from the multiple rounds of rainfall on March 6th and 7th.


Looking ahead, temperatures will run below normal for the end of the workweek, before taking a swing upwards over the weekend and especially into next week. We’ll see a couple more chances of rain tomorrow and again on Saturday, but light in nature. The next chance for significant rainfall looks to hold off until the middle stages of next workweek, where outlooks hint at higher confidence in above normal rainfall (below).

Sign up for the Ag Weather Update

Cold Temperatures on March 26/27

Following what has been a pretty mild March overall, the state saw some winter-like cold temperatures work into the region over the past weekend. I included some maps of these low temperatures from the Kentucky Mesonet below. Many dipped into the mid to upper 20s on the morning of the 27th. This was then followed by the eastern half of Kentucky dropping into the low to mid 20s on Monday morning. Some even in the upper teens. 


Some plasticulture strawberry growers are already seeing first bloom according to the latest edition of Kentucky Fruit Facts. As was the case this past weekend, strawberry growers will need to pay close attention to the forecast in the month ahead and take frost protection measures if needed. Below is a look at the typical threshold temperatures for damage associated with the various developmental stages in fruit development, courtesy of Extension Publication, HO-16: Strawberry Production in Kentucky.


Talking with UK Small Grains Specialist, Dr. Carrie Knott, most of Kentucky’s wheat crop is at Feekes 6 (jointing). In this stage, damage is expected if temperatures hit 24 or below for two hours or more. More on this subject and potential impacts next week.

Related News from UK and Beyond

Fire Blight Alert and Risk Map Overview - Nicole Gauthier, UK Plant Pathology Extension Specialist and Kimberly Leonberger, Plant Pathology Extension Associate, March 29, 2022

Eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch now underway for Central Kentucky - Holly Wiemers, March 28, 2022

Memorandum for Kentucky Record Wind Gust - Tom Reaugh,

Lead Forecaster, National Weather Service, Louisville, KY, March 23, 2022


Email  Twitter  Web