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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated November 1, 2021

Past Conditions 

Happy first day of November! Preliminary data from the Ag Weather Center shows the state averaged 4.28 inches in October, which is about three quarters of an inch above normal. This marks a fifth straight month of above normal rainfall for the Bluegrass State. The data also shows that the state averaged 63 degrees for the month, well above our normal monthly average of 57.6 for this time of year. While official data won't be released for another week, this will likely be a Top 10 warmest October on record for Kentucky (with data going back to 1895), and Top 5 is very much in play.

It was a warm month overall, but following a strong cold front early last week, some areas had their first frost on Wednesday morning. Most of the Bluegrass State dropped into the mid to upper 30s, but some dropped into the low 30s across the eastern half of Kentucky. The lowest temperatures were 30 degrees in Carlisle, Cynthiana, Monticello, and West Liberty. The Boone County Arboretum posted the photos below in their tweet showing the frosty start to the morning in the Northern Bluegrass. More information is below, but for many, this was the first warning of the year to protect any vulnerable vegetation.


Temperatures the rest of last week consistently ran below normal by day and above normal at night, which ultimately took our average close to normal for the week. Rainfall was a different story. An active pattern kept the Bluegrass State on the soggy side. Activity ramped up to start the workweek with the passage of the cold front I mentioned earlier. I showed accumulations associated with this passage in last week’s update. Following a couple of dry days, the week ended with a highly active pattern between Thursday and Saturday as a system very slowly worked across the region. Overall, the state averaged 1.58 inches and those numbers were consistent across the region. Below is a map of accumulations over the past two weeks. Numerous locations even topped the two-inch mark over that time span. IMHO, we have had too much rain this fall.


Data for the Past 7 Days 

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Following our warm month of October, we’ve started out November on the cool side. The Kentucky Mesonet tweeted this morning that several areas across Western Kentucky and up into the Bluegrass dipped into the mid to upper 30s (picture below). Get that jacket out if you haven't already—this is warm compared to what is on the table later this week!


Looking ahead, we could use a dry week, and for the most part, we should get it. We do have some showers possible tonight and some spotty coverage on Thursday, but otherwise, we are looking at a dry week ahead. Any accumulations tonight look to be relatively light. I included a look at forecast accumulations from the Weather Prediction Center below and the majority are under a tenth of an inch over the upcoming week, most of which would fall with tonight’s round.


The forecast focus over the upcoming week will ultimately be on temperatures, which will likely be the coolest we’ve seen this fall. Highs are expected to struggle to reach the middle 40s to low 50s through Friday. Low temperatures will run in the low to middle 30s both Wednesday and Thursday mornings, before taking a step back to end the week. As high pressure moves overhead on Friday and Saturday, an official end to the growing season is not entirely out of the question. Upper 20s will be in play for much of the state each morning. Below is a look at forecast lows from the National Weather Service for Friday morning. At this point in the season, most fall gardens are probably done or about done. I believe the main concern with the upcoming light frosts is the potential for cyanide poisoning in cattle. As Dr. Michelle Arnold advises in the latest Off the Hoof newsletter, don’t let cattle graze after a light frost as cyanide potential greatly increases, especially for pastures containing Johnsongrass and other sorghum species.

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To Cut or Not To Cut Alfalfa – Dr. Jimmy Henning, UK Extension Forage Specialist, October 28, 2021 


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