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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated 6-1-22

Recent Conditions

We’ve made it to June 1st, which also signifies the first day of meteorological summer! Looking back at the month of May, preliminary data from the Ag Weather Center shows the state averaged 4.5 inches of rainfall, which is roughly a half inch below normal. Keep in mind that this is an average and there was quite the range across the state. While some saw in excess of 6 inches, especially across the Northern Bluegrass and Eastern KY, others saw less than three (portions of Central KY) (map below).


The latter has resulted in lower stream flows and shallow soil moisture starting to deplete. In doing so, the US Drought Monitor has taken notice, introducing “abnormally dry conditions” to about a third of the state last Thursday (seen below). Saying that, look for some changes to the map this upcoming Thursday (6/2) with some areas benefiting from the scattered storms last week and others missing out.


Looking at temperatures, we ran about 3 degrees warmer than normal for the month of May, pushed in a large way by above normal minimum temperatures. It really wasn’t until this past week that clouds and an active pattern led to somewhat cooler temperatures for this time of year. Prior to that, the state had gone six weeks straight in which the state average temperature had run above normal. Meteorological summer might have started today, but we sure did feel the heat at times in May!

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Yesterday closed up a fantastic four-day window of dry conditions across the Bluegrass State. We now look ahead to a pattern change with a cold front on approach. Isolated to scattered showers and storms have fired this afternoon. If you haven’t already, be sure to get that hay stored away! Models hint at an uptick in coverage overnight and into tomorrow with the aforementioned cold front moving through the area. Saying that, we're definitely not expecting a washout with totals generally falling between a tenth and half inch+. The highest of that range looks to fall along and around the Ohio River (map below). In addition, a few strong to severe storms will be on the table, capable of producing damaging winds and hail. 


Behind the frontal boundary, we dry out for Friday and Saturday, along with much less humid conditions in place. Just for comparison sake, dewpoints are in the upper 60s to low 70s today, making it feel awfully sticky outside. We’ll see those dewpoints drop back into the upper 40s to mid 50s by Friday. Coupled with highs in the mid-70s to low 80s, this will set up a very comfortable two day stretch.

Additional rain chances arrive Sunday and into the early stages of next workweek, but uncertainty still very much exist in timing and intensity. Something to watch. Nonetheless, the latest outlooks hint at a wetter first half of June below.  


Last, but definitely not least, I had to include a picture of my new nephew we’re visiting in Oklahoma this week! His name is Theo, named after Theodore Roosevelt, the president of conservation (his mom and dad are big hikers). He’s still not sure what to think of his crazy uncle! For some reason, his parents didn’t want me taking him storm chasing yesterday, but I’ll sneak him in the truck one of these days! :)


Related News from UK and Beyond

Kentucky Crop Progress and Condition Report - USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office, May 31, 2022

Kentucky Forage News - June 1, 2022

Have you Herd? Podcast, Episode 27: Spring Breeding - Drs. Josh Jackson and Morgan Hayes, UK Extension Livestock Systems Specialists, June 1, 2022

Kentucky Dairy Notes - June 2022

Registration for the June edition of the KY Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions Webinar Series - Kentucky Climate Center, scheduled for June 2, 2022 at 2 PM EDT/1 PM CDT


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