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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 5-12-22

Recent Conditions

Summer has come early for the Bluegrass State! High temperatures have averaged in the low to middle 80s since Monday (5/9) and have peaked in the low 80s to low 90s this afternoon (highest across Western Kentucky). Normal high temperatures for this time of year run in the low to mid 70s. The best news though has been the dry conditions. Most of the Commonwealth hasn’t seen any rainfall since Sunday. As of the Monday update of the Kentucky Crop Progress and Condition Report, the state is still running 16% behind the 5-year average for corn planting (map below), but with the dry conditions in place, I think the bigger question is how big of jump we take next week!


The dry conditions followed an active pattern to start the month of May. Prior to this dry stretch, the state had averaged about 1.75 inches through the first week of the month. The highest totals have been seen across Southeastern KY, which had been running fairly dry this spring. While the state average for the month sits at 1.75, Eastern Kentucky is at 2.70! This was enough to knock out most of the area composed of “abnormally dry” conditions on the US Drought Monitor, which had lingered for the past four weeks. Looking ahead, the seasonal drought outlook points to continued good news for the Bluegrass State with NO drought development likely through the end of July (image below). This doesn't mean we won't have a drought, but chances are on the low side.

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Radar is clear again this afternoon (5/12), but that is about to change. If you have hay that was cut earlier in the week, it’s time to start pulling it up. Some may have a little more time than others, but as I tell my coworkers in the Department, DON’T take chances with Mother Nature (especially during the summer)! 

Rain chances start returning to Southeastern KY tomorrow afternoon and evening, albeit only isolated to scattered in coverage. Chances increase over the weekend with scattered coverage in place across the state. It won’t be a soaker of a weekend. Below is a look at forecast accumulations through Sunday. Most of the state will stay under a half inch.


Unfortunately, next week doesn’t present near the opportunity to cut hay with multiple chances of rain midweek. Still a little far out to pinpoint the timing. Looking at the second half of May, outlooks are currently hinting at above normal temperatures and slightly higher probabilities for above normal precipitation (maps below).


Related News from UK and Beyond

Kentucky Crop Progress and Condition Report - USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office, May 2, 2022

Assessing the U.S. climate in April - National Centers for Environmental Information, May 9, 2022

Have you Herd? Podcast - Drs. Josh Jackson and Morgan Hayes, UK Extension Livestock Systems Specialists, May 12, 2022


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