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Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist

UK Ag Weather Center

Updated November 8, 2021

Past Conditions 

Kentucky agriculture needed a dry week to start off November and that’s exactly what Mother Nature provided. Outside of some scattered light showers on Monday night, the rest of the week ran dry with mostly sunny skies in place. Overall, the state only averaged 0.07 inches for the week (map below). 


The bigger story was the chilly pattern in place. Temperatures ran below normal for almost the entire week. In fact, almost everyone saw multiple nights fall well into the 20s, officially bringing an end to the 2021 growing season. Areawide, the coolest temperatures were seen Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with lows dropping into the middle 20s to around 30 each morning. Some locations even dropped into the lower 20s. The lowest temperature for the week was 21 at the Brandenburg Kentucky Mesonet station. Below is a look at low temperatures on the morning of November 4, courtesy of the Kentucky Mesonet. Overall, this week ended a period of four straight weeks during which the state average temperature ran near to above normal. 


As a sidenote to the chilly temperatures, you may have noticed that most of Kentucky was below freezing Friday and Saturday mornings too, but no Freeze Warnings were issued by the National Weather Service. Once the growing season ends following a hard freeze, the National Weather Service will stop issuing advisories and warnings for the fall season. Headlines will then resume next spring, usually when horticultural crops like fruit trees or strawberries become susceptible. Otherwise, headlines would be redundant throughout the winter season. While the growing season has essentially ended, any livestock producers will want to continue monitoring the threat of “cyanide” or “prussic acid” poisoning. Warren County Cooperative Extension has a great summary of the topic available on its website.  

The official data for October was released today by NOAA. Overall, the state averaged 4.25 inches for the month, marking a fifth straight month of above normal precipitation for the Bluegrass State. Through the end of October, the state has now averaged 46.93 inches for the year, which would rank as the 14th wettest January to October timeframe since 1895. The state temperature average came in at 62.4 degrees, good enough for the eighth warmest October on record for Kentucky. This warmer pattern was a common theme across the eastern half of the United Statewith many other states placing in the Top 10 warmest Octobers on record. 


Data for the Past 7 Days 

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If you’re not a fan of winter temperatures, the forecast this week has good news. Our temperatures started to inch upward on Sunday and that trend continues for at least the first half of the workweek behind a southwesterly flow. Highs have already lifted into the upper 60s to low 70s today. Look for similar high temperatures to stay with us through Wednesday. For comparison, high temperatures are normally in the mid 50s to low 60s at this time of year. Take advantage now as these above normal temperatures come to an end with the passage of a strong cold front on Thursday. Widespread showers will likely accompany the boundary, bringing an end to what will be about a nine-day stretch of dry conditions for almost everyone. Early indications are about a half-inch or so with the frontal passage. We could see some additional light rain chances over the weekend, but it’s still too early to say with any confidence. Below is a look at predicted accumulations over the next week, most of which falls on Thursday. 


Late in the week, highs will struggle to reach the 40s over the weekend for most of the state, while lows will drop closer to freezing by Sunday morning. A look ahead shows higher confidence in below normal temperatures and precipitation next week (November 13 -17). 


Blast from the Past 

Our departmental Twitter page retweeted the following tweet from Gary Cambron on October 14. Gary is a 1986 UK College of Engineering graduate who showed some pages from the UK Department of Ag Engineering’s Wildcat Encyclopedia. Inside, it has common reference material for engineers, including physics equations, constants, and conversions. What I found most interesting were the stats associated with Kentucky’s climate back in the ’80s. I included a zoomed-in look at this information just below. To illustrate the change, I thought I would show you some of the differences in these numbers based on our latest climate figures in 2021. 


Our average annual precipitation has increased to 50.38 inches, while annual average temperature now sits at 56.4 degrees. Our highest recorded temperature stayed the same (114 degrees on July 28th, 1930 at Greensburg, Ky.), but we now have a new coldest temperature on record. This occurred on January 18, 1994, in Shelbyville when the temperature dropped to –37 degrees. Kentucky’s maximum 24-hour rainfall sits a bit higher at 10.48 inches, set in Louisville on March 1, 1997. Last, the state record maximum wind gust took a jump to 100.8 mph, set on April 26, 2011, by the Kentucky Mesonet station in Murray, Ky. 

Read the Kentucky Ag Weather Synopsis

Ag Weather Related News

from around UK and Beyond

Frost Flowers - Glen Conner, State Climatologist Emeritus for Kentucky 

November 2021 edition of the KY Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions Webinar – Kentucky Climate Center, November 4, 2021 

Keeping Water Troughs Thawed With or Without a Heater – Dr. Clair Thunes, Equine Nutritionist, published on The Horse, January 9, 2021 

Freeze versus frost: A primer on how cold affects plants – Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, November 14, 2016 


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