Kentucky goes from hottest, driest June to potentially the wettest July

ahancock@herald-leader.comJuly 24, 2012 

  • By the numbers

    Drought

    ■ Central Kentucky is out of drought status, but still about 3 inches below normal for rainfall.

    ■ July's average high temperature to date: 93 (the record is 94 degrees in 1936)Rain

    Rain

    ■ Compared to the typical rainfall per week of 1 inch, parts of Central Kentucky experienced 8 inches of rain over the past two weeks.

    ■ Although there were no severe weather outbreaks in June, severe weather has shown up 12 of the past 24 days.

    Crops

    ■ In July 2011, Kentucky corn conditions were at 2% very poor or poor. As of July 22, corn conditions were at 77% very poor or poor.

    Temperatures

    The average temperature for the last 10 days is 91. No record high temperatures have been recorded since July 7.

    July 24: 91

    July 23: 93

    July 22: 90

    July 21: 84

    July 20: 87

    July 19: 93

    July 18: 96

    July 17: 94

    July 16: 91

    July 15: 87

    Source: Chris Bailey, WKYT chief meteorologist; Matt Dixon, UK Agricultural Meteorologist; United States Department of Agriculture

For Kentucky weather, it's all about living in the land of extreme — from one of the hottest and driest Junes to, possibly, one of the wettest Julys.

Although recent rain made a dent in the heat, it came with its own price, says WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey.

After severe storms caused flash floods, winds and hail, and downed power lines, Central Kentucky is now sitting above normal for July rainfall. But it's still on pace to be the hottest year in Lexington's history.

Bailey said the balancing act of abnormal heat and rain comes from Kentucky being on the outer edge of heat waves in nearby states such as Arkansas and Texas, "That really puts us in the line of fire for the next few weeks," he said.

"We need the rain and we want the rain, but without all the severe weather. It's been a bad go of it, especially for farmers, but this is the pattern we're sticking to for now."

University of Kentucky meteorologist Matt Dixon says the rain has dramatically improved conditions in Central Kentucky while droughts are expanding and deepening in the western part of the state.

Kentuckians will feel an impact from this, but Dixon says only time will tell to what degree.

"Any precipitation would be beneficial at this point; levels are so dry that it's inhibiting a lot of development in Western Kentucky and overall corn crops aren't amounting to anything."

Both Dixon and Bailey predict hot conditions and severe weather pockets throughout the week, with a cold front coming Thursday night.

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