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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist, UK Ag Weather Center

Updated August 10, 2021

Past Conditions 

IT FINALLY RAINED! Most of the state saw some VERY welcome rainfall Sunday night and into Monday. This followed an almost three-week stretch with below normal rainfall. Below is a look at accumulations over the past 48 hours from the Kentucky Mesonet as of 11AM on Tuesday. Western Kentucky was the big winner, with many getting over an inch and some over two. A large number of stations recorded more than a half inch across the rest of the state. Yes, some areas didn’t get much of anything, but we do have more rounds on the way this week.

Outside of scattered rain activity across Eastern Kentucky, the state ran mostly dry (map below) last week. Once again, the western half of Kentucky and up into the Bluegrass didn’t get much of anything until Sunday night. I started contacting county agents late last week to gauge early drought impacts across the agricultural sector. I heard reports of corn starting to roll, stressed pastures, and some even feeding hay. However, those conditions should be turning around fast. I guess sometimes it just takes a drought email from the meteorologist to get the rain falling again!

The state still averaged 6.06 inches for the month of July, which had some very dry weeks. Most of that rain fell early in July. The combination of rain and cool weather most likely saved the area from more severe effects of the dry conditions. 


Data for the Past 7 Days 

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As I’m writing this forecast on Tuesday morning (8/10), we have another round of showers and storms passing through the Bluegrass area. This looks like a trend over the upcoming workweek, with daily rounds of scattered coverage. Storms will be capable of producing frequent lightning and torrential rainfall, peaking in coverage during the day and diminishing at night. The scattered coverage means not everyone will see rainfall each day, but at least we have some chances in the forecast compared to recent weeks! Below is a look at predicted rainfall accumulations through next Monday. Overall, the best chance for higher accumulations is going to stay across primarily the eastern half of the state and decrease farther west. You may also notice the very high values down in Florida, where the tropics are starting to get a bit more active, something to watch moving forward.


In addition to showers and storms, we have a few warm and humid days ahead. A “Heat Advisory” is already in place today across Western Kentucky with peak heat indices around 105 degrees. This will push livestock heat stress into the danger and emergency categories during the afternoon and evening hours. Be sure to take precautions as necessary and don’t forget about yourself too! This oppressive heat will stick around through Friday with highs in the upper 80s to middle 90s across the state (warmest across Western Kentucky). We then see a cold front swing through the area to end the workweek, bringing highs down into the 80s for the weekend.

Read the Kentucky Ag Weather Synopsis

Need Weather/Climate Data?

In my second of a two-part series covering sources of weather and climate data across the region, I’m recommending the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s cli-MATE toolkit. This toolkit is free and can be accessed by anyone. You just need to register a username and password. While Mesonet stations (covered last week) cannot be accessed on this platform, generally all other types of stations are available, including data from airports. Just like the Mesonet, data can be extracted in both daily and hourly formats. The data also can easily be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet for easier processing. The toolkit also has the ability to run threshold searches, create charts/maps, and extract climate data averaged across the entire state or specific region. Check it out, and if you have any questions about this platform, please feel free to reach out at


Related News from UK and Beyond

August edition of the Kentucky Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions Webinar – Kentucky Climate Center, August 5, 2021

Abrupt Presence of Fall Armyworms in Double-Crop Soybeans in Kentucky – Dr. Raul Villanueva, UK Extension Entomologist, August 3, 2021


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