State drought declarations lifted

After a record-breaking hot summer that brought little rainfall and impacted autumn, state officials announced on Monday that Kentucky’s drought has officially ended.

From the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet:

The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team (KDMT), lifted all drought declarations across the entire Commonwealth. This includes the 50 counties under a Level 2 drought declaration and the 43 counties under a Level 1 drought declaration.

Several storm systems have made their way across the Commonwealth during the past two weeks. These systems have provided widespread, heavy rains. The heaviest amounts have been concentrated in the southeastern counties and along the Ohio River.  In some locations, the rainfall totals over the past two weeks were greater than totals from the previous three to four months.

While many areas are still below normal for rainfall since the drought developed, many of the impacts from the drought, including the wildfire threat, have been drastically reduced. Some long-term agricultural issues will continue to be felt, including low hay supplies and pasture health. Small lakes and ponds used for livestock watering will also need additional rainfall to return to normal levels.

With a La Nina circulation strengthening in the Pacific and expected to persist into the spring, seasonal outlooks indicate an enhanced probability for above-normal precipitation for the region throughout the winter. The KDMT will reassess drought vulnerability across Kentucky in early spring.