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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 5-25-22

Recent Conditions

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Following what had been a slow progressing planting season, dry windows over the past couple weeks have officially erased concerns and we’re now caught up or even ahead of schedule in the case of soybeans. While the dry conditions have definitely helped with planting progression, I mentioned in last week’s update that some folks across the state were definitely getting dry. This was especially the case across the western half of Kentucky. 

Since then, the state has seen a pretty active pattern, starting last Wednesday (May 18th). Saying that, as seen in the map below, some folks didn’t see near as much as others. Intense storms producing heavy rainfall led to some locations topping two inches (yellow regions), while others missed out and were closer to a half inch or less. Some of those in the latter category added to deficits over the past 30 days. A large chunk of Central Kentucky is now running 3 inches below normal over that time span, leading to soil moisture deficits and below normal stream flows. Something to watch, but luckily, we will have some wet conditions in place the next few days (more info below).


Speaking of intense storms last week, Kentucky saw numerous bouts of severe weather with storms capable of producing damaging winds and large hail. Arguably, the most notable severe storms occurred on Thursday (May 19th), when large hail was the main issue. John Gordon, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service in Louisville, shared some photos on social media of the large hail seen on May 19th across the Bluegrass Region. Believe this is the first time I've ever heard hail compared to German dumplings!

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Showers and storm chances will stay by our side over the next several days as a disturbance aloft is slow to work through the area. The brunt of the activity looks to stay across the western half of Kentucky today (5/25) and shift to the eastern half tomorrow. These storms will generally work south to north across the area and could be strong to severe at times (should be rather localized) with gusty winds and large hail as the main threats. Repeated rounds of storms could also lead to flash flooding. Overall, models hint at quite the range of accumulations over the next few days, based on the fact we could see some training storms. Just like last week, some may only see a half inch, while others see more than two. Most of this activity will fall over the next 36 hours, followed be some lingering showers on Friday. Below is a look at the forecast accumulations from the Weather Prediction Center.


If you’re needing to spray, cut hay, or continue planting….you’re window starts on Saturday. Dry conditions are forecast through at least the first half of next week. Temperatures will also go in the upward direction, back in the upper 80s to low 90s by Memorial Day. This is the general trend suggested by the 6-10 day outlook next week, valid May 30 – June 3 (maps below), with higher confidence in above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall. Just to put in perspective, normal highs for this time of year run in the upper 70s to low 80s, while lows average in the upper 50s to low 60s. As I’ve said in previous updates, take the opportunity when you can!


Related News from UK and Beyond

Kentucky Crop Progress and Condition Report - USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office, May 23, 2022

NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season - National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration - May 24, 2022


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