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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 12-8-21

Past Conditions

Well, we have a lot to cover, but let’s start with the passage of the strong cold front Sunday night and Monday morning. This boundary sparked a round of widespread showers and storms across the area. Below is a look at accumulations from the Kentucky Mesonet. Much of Central Kentucky and up into Northeastern Kentucky saw between 1 and 2.5 inches, something we definitely don’t want to see going into the winter months. The rain caused some minor flooding across the area. Driving around Scott County on Monday, I saw several streams running out of the banks and flooded low-lying pastures. Keep emergency preparedness in mind as we move forward, especially with another potent system on the way this weekend (more in the forecast section below). 


This strong system produced some severe weather across the region. Strong winds were the main culprit, but the National Weather Service offices in Louisville and Paducah confirmed five tornadoes across the region. Estimated peak winds among the five ranged from 85 to 100 mph, ranking these tornadoes as either EF0 or EF1 strength. Keep in mind that tornadoes CAN occur at any time of the year, even during WINTER if environmental conditions are favorable. Below are a couple of images from John Gordon, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service in Louisville, that show some of the damage across the Southern Bluegrass. The damage on the left was associated with the Stamping Ground tornado in Scott County, which unfortunately left two people injured.  


Prior to the severe weather episode, the past week was rather uneventful for the Commonwealth. Outside of light accumulations midweek, the last significant rainfall event was on Thanksgiving Day. The one big difference last week was the warmer temperatures in place. The state had multiple days in the 60s and even 70s. These highs were 15-20 degrees above normal for this time of year. Unfortunately, those temperatures dropped significantly following the passage of the cold front. Highs yesterday (12/7) ranged from only the upper 20s across the Northern Bluegrass to low 40s near the Tennessee border.  

Data for the Past 7 Days 

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Following some light snow and flurries last night (some areas may have had a dusting), we’re looking at a couple of dry days ahead with increasing temperatures. We’ll be back into the mid-50s to around 60 by tomorrow and then the mid-60s to low 70s on Friday with breezy southerly winds in place. If we reach those temps, they will be close to record highs.  

Attention then shifts to our next round of rain. While chances increase Friday, the brunt of the activity is expected Friday night and into Saturday. Just like Sunday night and Monday, we are in line to see another round of significant accumulations across the state, along with some high winds. Below is a look at those accumulations from the Weather Prediction Center. In some good news, total accumulations have gone down in recent model runs. We were initially looking at 1 to 3 inches, but that looks to now be in the 0.5-to-2-inch range, with the lowest values across Western Kentucky and highest for Southeastern Kentucky. However, flash flooding and flooding of low-lying locations will still be possible, especially after the rains we got earlier in the week. Be sure to take the time to get animals out of flood-prone areas. Severe weather with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be possible. Make sure to have those NOAA weather radios ready! We could see some snow mix in the backside of the system, but just like last night, we aren’t looking at any impacts. 


We will be dry for the latter half of the weekend, and will have cooler temperatures, but the chill in the air will be extremely short-lived. Next week is trending warm, and that looks to continue into the third full week of December (outlooks below). In fact, the dark red shades in the temperature outlooks below indicate the highest confidence possible that we’ll see above normal temperatures over those periods. Highs in the 50s and 60s will be common. While next week (December 13-17th) is leaning drier, the outlooks look wet going into the third week of December. 

Read the Kentucky Ag Weather Synopsis

Related News from UK and Beyond

December edition of the Kentucky Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions - Kentucky Climate Center, December 2, 2021 

Have You Herd? Podcast, Episode 4 – Drs. Morgan Hayes and Josh Jackson, UK Extension Livestock Systems specialists, December 2, 2021 

Frost, Freeze, Hard Freeze – Kentucky Forage News, December 1, 2021 


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