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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 11-23-21

Past Conditions

Harvest is pretty much wrapping up across the state, but periodic rains have slowed progress during recent weeks. We haven’t seen a ton of rainfall, but just enough to keep prolonging harvest season. In fact, month-to-date precipitation totals show the state has only averaged 1.64 inches, which is over an inch below normal over that time span. Kentucky saw more of these nuisance rain events this past week, one coming Wednesday night/Thursday and the other on Sunday. Overall, the state averaged 0.95 inches between the two rounds with highest accumulations (>1 inch) showing up between South-Central and Northeastern KY (map below). 


Each round was associated with a cold front moving through the area. Ahead of the first boundary on Thursday, we saw mild temperatures in place across the region. In fact, highs peaked on Wednesday with breezy southwesterly flow pushing highs to around 70. Behind the front, we took a major step back. Lows on Friday morning were in the low to middle 20s for much of Kentucky, only rising that day into the 40s and some even staying in the upper 30s. More significant cold air followed the secondary cold front on Sunday. Below is a look at lows this morning across the state from the Kentucky Mesonet. Clear skies and calm winds created the perfect recipe for what is now the coldest morning of the fall season so far. Many areas dipped into the upper teens to low 20s, and some even dropped into the middle teens. The coldest location was Harlan, which plummeted to 13! For perspective, normal lows for this time of year run in the middle 30s. 


Data for the Past 7 Days 



The workweek has started on the chilly side. Unfortunately, that chilly pattern will stick around for much of the upcoming week. Fortunately, we see a bit of a reprieve tomorrow (11/24) as highs work into the 50s ahead of a cold front. That’s good news if you’re traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, although it may be a bit breezy at times, with some gusts around 25 mph. Unfortunately, rain showers arrive for Thanksgiving. This will be yet another round of widespread coverage associated with a cold front. We are looking at accumulations of a quarter- to half-inch across much the state (forecast accumulations below). While our turkeys will be in a toasty oven at 350 degrees, we’ll see highs top out in the upper 40s to middle 50s (warmest across Eastern Kentucky).  


Temperatures turn chilly again for Friday, but we run dry. Lows will be in the 20s again on Friday morning and will only reach into the upper 30s to middle 40s during the day. We then moderate over the weekend, back into the 40s and 50s. We could see some weak disturbances pass through and produce some precipitation, but it’s still a bit early to say with certainty. Looking further out, outlooks hint at higher confidence in below normal precipitation to end November and start December. 

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Related News from UK and Beyond

November 2021 edition of the UK Corn and Soybean Newsletter - November 11, 2021 

Variability and Transitions in Precipitation Extremes in the Midwest - NOAA/NIDIS, University of Illinois, November 18, 2021 


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