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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 3-1-22

Past Conditions

Happy first day of meteorological spring! March madness is here, but let’s hope it’s not madness in terms of the weather! Luckily, we're starting the month on a dry note, which is pretty well a 180 degree turn from where we were last month.

Looking back at February, Kentucky couldn’t seem to get a break from the exceptional rainfall. Just this past week, Kentucky averaged 2.24 inches behind multiple rounds of widespread activity and even some embedded storms. Most fell Monday night into Tuesday and again Wednesday night into Thursday. This was a statewide soaker with most ending up over 1.5 inches. The highest totals, in excess of 3 inches, were found across South Central and Southeastern Kentucky (map below).


Data from the UK Ag Weather Center shows the state average for February at 6.38 inches, placing Kentucky in top-15 territory for the wettest February on record. Looking back, this will mark the 5th straight February that the state has seen above normal precipitation. If there was a bright spot to all the rain last week, flash flooding was limited and we’ve had several days of dry conditions since. Saying that, river flooding remains a concern. As it sits now (3/1), many locations along the Ohio and Green Rivers are in minor to moderate flood stages and will likely stay that way through the majority of the upcoming week.


Data for the Past 7 Days 

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Following our exceptionally wet February, March is opening on a warm note across the Lower Ohio Valley. Highs the rest of the workweek look to stay predominantly in the 60s, before we see some 70s this weekend! Normal highs for early March run in the low to middle 50s for most of Kentucky. 

Enjoy the next several days with dry conditions and mostly sunny skies in place as an active pattern looks to set up over the weekend and into next week. Granted we are still quite a ways out, the pattern suggests another super soaker of an event with multiple waves of rainfall. Below is a look at the latest 7-day precipitation forecast from the Weather Prediction Center, valid through 7AM Tuesday (3/8). We’ll see shifts in this map as we progress closer to the event, but the potential for excessive rainfall and flooding is definitely there. 


Unfortunately, outlooks keep the wet pattern in place through the first half of the month. Notice the darker shades of green over the Ohio Valley below, which indicate higher confidence in above normal precipitation by the forecasters. Enjoy the dry workweek ahead because it really looks like we’re going in the opposite direction in the near future.


As a side-note, the statewide tornado drill is scheduled for this Wednesday morning, March 2nd. Be sure to practice your safety plan!


Related News from UK and Beyond

Meeting Registration for the March 3rd, 2022 edition of the KY Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions Webinar Series - Kentucky Climate Center

Have You Herd? Episode 12, Western Kentucky 2021 Tornado Resiliency Project - Have You Herd Podcast with hosts, Drs. Josh Jackson and Morgan Hayes, February 9, 2022

A Look Back: Remembering the Flood of March 1997 - National Weather Service, February 28, 2022

Drought Status Update for the North Central U.S. - National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), February 24, 2022

UK lawn mower clinic returns - UK Ag Communications, February 24, 2022


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