Something to point out when looking at evapotranspiration, we've actually been in a better spot in 2022 than where we were in 2012. Why? Dewpoints (measure of the amount of moisture in the air). It's been exceptionally muggy in 2022 with dewpoints jumping into the 70s and even above 80 at times. Back in 2012, dewpoints were hovering in the 50s and 60s. Don't get me wrong, it was still hot, but the lower dewpoints made it a little more tolerable. While this was the case from a human perspective, the drier air will increase evapotranspiration rates, which added to the problem in 2012.
Looking at temperatures, drought conditions usually lead to a period of extreme heat. In one example, our driest September on record back in 2019 was accompanied by the 2nd warmest September on record (data back to 1895). While not to that extent, we’re seeing more of that same this past month. Based on preliminary data from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, Kentucky's average temperature in June was 74.4 degrees, a couple degrees above normal. That heat has continued into July. Just yesterday (7/6) and today (7/7), we've had multiple weather stations top 100 degrees. That’s hot in itself, but add in a dewpoint hovering around 80 and the Ohio and Todd County Mesonet stations had heat indices touch 121! Not fun!