Ag Weather Center-white.png

Ag Weather Update

Matt Dixon, Meteorologist, UK Ag Weather Center 

Updated June 1, 2021

Happy first day of meteorological summer! The folks in our profession classify the seasons a bit differently than the astronomical seasons, going by the temperature cycle throughout the year. Our three warmest months are June, July, and August. Using meteorological seasons makes it much easier to calculate statistics for each season. More info on the difference between the two seasonal classifications can be found from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Past Conditions 

May was a dry month. Our data in the Ag Weather Center shows the state averaged 3.47 inches, which is about 1.25 inches below normal. That average dropped to 2.95 for Eastern Kentucky. This dry weather has been a bit of a concern, because May is typically our wettest month of the year. May's rainfall usually helps replenish soil moisture as we head into the summer months. Below, the first map shows the 30-day departure from normal precipitation. As you can see, much of the area ran 1 to 3 inches below normal for the month. This led to below normal stream flows for the Eastern Kentucky region, prompting the U.S. Drought Monitor (below) to classify portions of that area as "abnormally dry." 


The latest update to the U.S. Drought Monitor occurred last Thursday, prior to Eastern Kentucky receiving some beneficial rainfall on Friday. In addition to another round on Wednesday, the state averaged 0.89 inches last week. This is still slightly below normal for this time of year, but, after two straight weeks of well below normal rainfall, we’ll take what we can get.

We started the week of May 24-30 with very warm temperatures in place. In fact, highs jumped into the middle 80s to low 90s on Monday and Tuesday. However, on Saturday, we had chilly conditions after a cold front moved in. Temperatures in the 50s led to many record cool high temperatures for the day. Just to put that into perspective, we are typically in the upper 70s to low 80s at this time of year! 

Sign up for the Ag Weather Update

Data for the Past 7 days


7-Day Observed Precipitation 

Read the Kentucky Ag Weather Synopsis


As I've said before, the dry month we just experienced is both positive and negative. Farmers had a great opportunity to harvest hay and make great headway on spring planting, but we also have to think about the impacts of a dry May and the lack of soil moisture recharge. Luckily, we do have an active week ahead with multiple rounds of rainfall. In fact, rain chances will remain on a daily basis over the upcoming week. The most significant activity is expected tonight, tomorrow (6/2), and Thursday (6/3). Overall, there is the potential for 1 to 2+ inches for much of the state over the next few days (image below), which would likely counteract the effects of abnormally dry conditions across the area. Chances for rain remain good through the weekend, but the rain is expected to be more of the isolated to scattered variety. 


Temperatures will stay below seasonable norms through Thursday, but with dew points creeping up into the middle 60s, it will feel a bit muggy outside. Temps then climb on Thursday and into the weekend, with highs back in the middle 80s. With these higher dew points (especially going into next workweek), it will start to really feel like summer. Long range outlooks do show higher confidence that above normal temperatures will stick around for the second week of June, while also suggesting near to above normal precipitation (lower confidence). I would not be the least bit surprised to see temperatures around 90 next week. 

Monthly Webinar Series

Please join me for the next Kentucky Monthly Climate Perspective on Drought and Hydrologic Conditions webinar on Thursday, June 3, at 2pm EDT / 1pm CDT. I'll be hosting the June edition, as we focus on the current climate conditions across Kentucky and any associated impacts seen the past month. We will also review long-range outlooks and close with a Q&A session. 

Run by the Kentucky Climate Center, these webinars are scheduled for the first Thursday of every month at the same time. If you would like to join the webinar, register using this link. You can also subscribe to the Kentucky Climate Center YouTube channel and watch live on YouTube.

Related News from UK

Reasons to Cut Hay Early – Kentucky Forage News, June 1, 2021

Off the Hoof – Kentucky Beef Cattle Newsletter, June 1, 2021 

Managing diseases in the garden – From the Ground Up, Jeff Franklin, UK Ag Communications, June 1, 2021 


Email  Twitter  Web