April 25, 2001 | By: Aimee D. Heald

In November 2000, all of Kentucky was completely out of the drought. But somehow, in the last few weeks prevailing conditions have pushed much of the state deep into moderate hydrologic drought. Eastern Kentucky remains in the mild drought category.

A hydrological drought is one that affects drinking water supplies, because dry conditions cause low water levels in rivers, streams and aquifers.

"It's snuck up on us the last six weeks or so," said Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky agricultural meteorologist. "Now, all of the sudden, western Kentucky needs six to seven inches of above-normal rainfall to catch up and the bluegrass needs five to six."

Priddy said medium-range forecasts are not showing a marked improvement for the next week or two. The outlook still shows below normal precipitations and above average heat for most of the United States, caused by the jet stream shifting far into Canada.

The crop moisture index shows Kentucky still has adequate moisture for agricultural purposes.

"Ag moisture is still okay, but without significant rainfall in the next couple weeks, we will get into a serious situation really quick," Priddy added.

Priddy said there is no rain forecast in the immediate seven-day outlook. For more information about drought and timely weather information, visit the UK Ag Weather Center online at http://wwwagwx.ca.uky.edu/


Tom Priddy 859-257-3000