The temperature reached 102 degrees in Lexington on Thursday, and weather officials placed virtually all of Central Kentucky in the drought category as blazing temperatures moved into the Bluegrass.
The National Weather Service in Louisville said the state's highest temperature was in Bowling Green, where a sizzling 105 was reported.
It was 104 degrees in Henderson, 103 in Hopkinsville, 102 in Louisville, 101 in Richmond and 100 in Covington. Numerous other cities reported temperatures in the high 90s.
Lexington's 102-degree reading marked the first time the temperature had reached triple digits here since August 2007. It was the hottest June day since 1944 and the third-hottest for the month on record. The last time Lexington reached 100 degrees in June was in 1988.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service's latest drought monitor map, released early Thursday, showed that almost all of Central Kentucky, and roughly three-fourths of the state, is now in drought.
Central Kentucky counties in moderate drought include Fayette, Clark, Bourbon, Scott, Garrard, Madison and Jessamine.
Woodford County remains in the "abnormally dry" category, along with a handful of counties in Northern Kentucky and along the state's eastern border.
State officials said 24 counties are now in the "severe drought" category in Western Kentucky, where dry weather threatens to devastate many farms.
A total of 66 Kentucky counties are in moderate to severe drought, officials said.
Prompted by the dry conditions, Richmond officials on Thursday asked residents to start conserving water. The request applies to non-commercial uses, such as watering of gardens and lawns. Richmond might have to make conservation mandatory if the dry spell continues much longer, officials said.
Kentucky American Water continued to tell its customers Thursday that it is well-prepared to meet water supply needs during the hot, dry period.
Weather officials said hot temperatures will continue Friday, with highs around 100 degrees in many parts of the state. The steamy weather is expected to continue into early next week, with little chance of rain in sight.