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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 1-25-22

Past Conditions

‘Old Man Winter’ has solidified himself across the area. Over the past week, maximum and minimum temperatures across the state averaged 38 and 20 degrees, respectively, which would be several degrees below normal. Normal highs for this time of year run in the low to middle 40s, while low temperatures average in the mid to upper 20s. That 20 degree average was actually relatively warm compared to some of the lows last week. In fact, the coldest temperatures were seen on Saturday morning. The map from the Kentucky Mesonet below shows most everyone dipping into the single digits and some even below zero. The extreme low for the night was in Winchester where the local Mesonet station dipped to -2!


Outside of the chilly temperatures, we saw some additional rounds of light rain and snow showers. The most significant activity arrived on Wednesday as an Arctic front crossed the area. Ahead of the boundary, precipitation type was all rain with temperatures in the 40s. As the front passed through Kentucky, cooler temperatures transitioned precipitation to snow. This event primarily impacted the eastern half of the state with a broad area of light snow, but some heavier swaths embedded within. The Southern Bluegrass and up into Northeastern KY was part of one of those heavier swaths with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches. These accumulations can be seen in the maps below from the National Weather Services offices in Louisville (top) and Jackson, KY.


In some good news for those cattle producers across the state, the ground is starting to freeze and despite multiple snow storms, the liquid equivalent of that precipitation has actually been well below normal the past couple weeks. In fact, the map from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center below shows much of Western Kentucky and up into the Bluegrass area about 1 to 2 inches below normal over that time frame. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to deal with the mud moving forward in 2022 (slim chance with current outlooks)!


Data for the Past 7 Days 

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The week started with some light rain showers across the Northern Bluegrass, while the rest of the state has remained dry. Behind this round, Tuesday has ran fairly chilly with northerly winds in place. We are currently sitting in the middle 20s to low 30s as of 6PM this evening (1/25). In combination with some clear skies, we are looking at another cold night ahead with lows dipping into the low to mid teens. Wind chills could dip close to or even below zero, mainly across the northern half of the state. After another cool Wednesday, southwest flow picks up on Thursday with highs back in the upper 30s to middle 40s. 

Our next disturbance then arrives on Thursday night and Friday, which carries the potential to produce some light snowfall accumulations, predominantly across the eastern half of Kentucky. Outside of this system, the rest of the weekend is trending dry, along with what looks to be a warming trend going into next workweek. Could we see some highs in the 50s on Tuesday??? We will see. Overall, we're looking at a pretty quiet week for the area. The map below shows the precipitation forecast (liquid equivalent) for the next week from the Weather Prediction Center. Most look to stay under a quarter inch.


While the upcoming week doesn't present a lot of precipitation, outlooks hint that is about to change. Moving into the first week of February, outlooks are showing higher confidence in above normal precipitation and temperatures across the area. Something to watch is that the week 3 and 4 experimental outlook keeps that trend in place, which lasts through the midsection of February. Looks like a pattern change is on the horizon!


Related News from UK and Beyond

State Climate Summaries 2022: Kentucky - Jennifer Runkle et al., Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS), January 19, 2022

Corn and Soybean Production Up for 2021 - USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office, January 12, 2022


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