July 2, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald

The wet and cool conditions of April and May in Kentucky continued into June, making for another top 10 month in the record books.

“June 2003 will go into the books ranking in the top 10 wettest and coolest Junes on record, and in the top five wettest April, May and June combined in the past 108 years,” said Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture meteorologist. “The first three weeks of the month received above-normal rainfall across the state which continued the very wet conditions of April and May.”

The record-setting weather has been a challenge for Kentucky farmers. Priddy said many have had to re plant or delay planting and many have had fewer cuttings of hay.

“Every week in June we saw below-normal temperatures and even near-record lows in the mid 40s on the second and fifth days of the month,” he said.

Priddy said temperatures for June averaged 69 degrees across the state – 3.4 degrees below normal and 5 degrees warmer than May. High temperatures averaged from 81 in the west to 78 in the east and lows averaged from 60 degrees in the west to 59 degrees in the east.

Another point to consider is the departure from normal Growing Degree Days (GDD) which is simply a way to relate crop growth to temperature.

“We were 88 percent of normal of Growing Degree Days in June,” Priddy said. “Farmers know that translates into delayed crop growth and development. It’s a tool they can use to know the growth rates for crops and insects according to the departure from normal temperatures.”

Rainfall in June was 6.4 inches statewide, which was 2.14 inches above normal. Priddy said after the first week or so of July, temperatures will once again be below normal and precipitation will be above normal.

“The next week or so will be just the opposite of that with heat indices being forecast in the 100s,” he said. “It could be unusually tough for people and livestock simply because we haven’t experienced that kind of heat this year and it’s such a sudden change.”

Priddy said the outlook for August and September shows near normal rainfall and temperatures.


Writer: Aimee D. Heald 859-257-4736, ext. 267
Source: Tom Priddy 859-257-3000, ext. 245