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Kentucky's drought expands across the state

Liam Niemeyer
Corn in Christian County, Kentucky.

Just last week, a handful of Kentucky counties were experiencing a moderate drought. That has been expanded this week to include a third or the state. Almost 80% of the state has abnormally dry conditions.

Kentucky Drought 06-30-22.png
National Integrated Drought Information System
A third of Kentucky is now experiencing a moderate drought.

Kentucky’s Interim State Climatologist Megan Schargorodski says the drought is hurting crops.

“This is a very sensitive time of year for us to be experiencing drought, because it is a very critical time in the development of the crops,” she said. “Corn and soybeans that are planted right now are, we're already seeing the stress that they're experiencing from the cascading drought.”

In June, the Commonwealth usually sees about 4.25 inches of rain. Schargorodski says Bowling Green received about three inches of rain in early June.

““The crazy part is that, even though we've had all of that rain, and we're really not that far below normal, we're still seeing these very rapidly progressing and worsening conditions,” she said. “Because it has been so long and it's been so hot and just the combination of all of those things.”

The dry conditions also make it challenging for rain storms to reach the ground. Last week, a big storm made its way to Kentucky, but Schargorodski says it “fizzled out.”

“And that's because of the dry conditions that we're seeing on the ground the surface is demanding the moisture, the atmosphere is demanding the moisture that was coming with the storm, and it just eroded it away,” she said. “It's a really tough situation to be in.”

Rain is forecasted for the holiday weekend for most of Kentucky.

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