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By Shawn Crowe
So when is it going to rain? That’s the question on everyone’s mind now that Lawrenceburg finds itself firmly in drought conditions. We saw 0.75 inches of rain last weekend, but since then we’ve received only a trace of rain, while Harrodsburg, Danville, Lexington, Winchester, Taylorsville, and Georgetown have all seen soaking thunderstorms. The rain has literally been all around us. In a year that showed no seasonal signs of an impending drought, we are now in the midst of a fairly serious situation which has also been compounded by a record-setting heat wave. So, what gives? When is it our turn for some rain?
First of all, we can at least be thankful the heat wave is gone. As of July 8, 7 out of the last 11 days saw the air temperature reach 100-104 degrees. To have this happen beginning in June is record setting in itself. The fact that it lasted so long makes it even more rare. On Sunday the heat index reading in Lawrenceburg briefly touched 114 degrees. To say that it’s been miserable lately would be an understatement. Thankfully, a cold front is working through the state today, and the 100 degree air is gone and doesn’t look to return anytime soon.
As far as precipitation goes, I suppose we must be happy for our neighbors who all received good rains from the recent storms. Every county in Kentucky can use the rain, so whoever gets it is fortunate. Going through the remainder of this week, it appears that Friday is our best shot at some rain here in Anderson County. Stuck between a couple of ridges, we should find ourselves in a favorable environment to generate some rain here. In fact, take a look at the most recent run of the GFS model. It shows a bulls eye of 2.5 inches of rain centered right on the Lawrenceburg area this coming Friday. We can only hope that this time around we’ll be in luck.
The current U.S. Drought Monitor has Lawrenceburg on the cusp of the D1 “Moderate Drought” area as of July 9. The new outlook is issued on Thursday and I think with the recent rains, most of Kentucky will remain the same as what we see now. Overall statewide conditions actually have improved this week.
Looking at the rest of July, it appears that the heat ridge won’t build back in until the end of the month at soonest. Our weather pattern should be a little cooler and wetter over the next 10-14 days and hopefully we can get a few instances of rain during that time. Remember, we are statistically in the wettest time of the year here in central Kentucky, so if we go into Fall abnormally dry, we’re going to have problems. We need to get the rain now. Let’s hope for some weather systems to head our way before the heat of late July and August moves in. I still believe that we do have a good chance at improving our drought conditions before summer is out.