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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Kentucky

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Kentucky using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in Kentucky. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Lawns and vegetation are brown
  • Crops and pastures show mild stress
29.6
of KY
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Crops and pastures show stress; corn germination is poor
  • Burn bans are issued; wildfires are reported
  • Increased algae and fungus growth is noted
0
of KY
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Hay yield is low; crop losses are reported; livestock need supplemental hay and water
  • Ponds, lakes, and river levels are low; boating hazards are found in lakes
  • Tress distressed, leaves wilting, pine trees turning brown
0
of KY
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Maintaining cattle and horses is very expensive, cost of food and water is very high; producers sell livestock
  • Creeks and ponds are completely dry; water shortages are widespread; water restrictions begin
0
of KY
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Hay hotline is put in place due to shortages; producers are hauling water
  • Water sources are extremely low
0
of KY
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Lawns and vegetation are brown
  • Crops and pastures show mild stress
0.0
of KY
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Crops and pastures show stress; corn germination is poor
  • Burn bans are issued; wildfires are reported
  • Increased algae and fungus growth is noted
0
of KY
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Hay yield is low; crop losses are reported; livestock need supplemental hay and water
  • Ponds, lakes, and river levels are low; boating hazards are found in lakes
  • Tress distressed, leaves wilting, pine trees turning brown
0
of KY
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Maintaining cattle and horses is very expensive, cost of food and water is very high; producers sell livestock
  • Creeks and ponds are completely dry; water shortages are widespread; water restrictions begin
0
of KY
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Hay hotline is put in place due to shortages; producers are hauling water
  • Water sources are extremely low
0
of KY
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Lawns and vegetation are brown
  • Crops and pastures show mild stress
23.7
of KY
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Crops and pastures show stress; corn germination is poor
  • Burn bans are issued; wildfires are reported
  • Increased algae and fungus growth is noted
0
of KY
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Hay yield is low; crop losses are reported; livestock need supplemental hay and water
  • Ponds, lakes, and river levels are low; boating hazards are found in lakes
  • Tress distressed, leaves wilting, pine trees turning brown
0
of KY
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Maintaining cattle and horses is very expensive, cost of food and water is very high; producers sell livestock
  • Creeks and ponds are completely dry; water shortages are widespread; water restrictions begin
0
of KY
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Hay hotline is put in place due to shortages; producers are hauling water
  • Water sources are extremely low
0
of KY
Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Updates Weekly  -  01/19/21
Updates Weekly  -  01/21/21
Updates Weekly  -  12/22/20

Drought in Kentucky from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4) in Kentucky lasted 46 weeks beginning on May 22, 2007, and ending on April 1, 2008. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of October 16, 2007, where D4 affected 16.15% of Kentucky land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree-rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.

Report Impacts

Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions. 

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