Region's Drought Size, Severity Expand
WESTERN KENTUCKY/ SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - The National Weather Service reports this week that almost all of western Kentucky and southern Illinois are now classified as undergoing severe drought.
Drought conditions already plaguing Kentucky have expanded further into southern Illinois and southeast Missouri. The hardest hit area is basically east of a line from Jackson, Missouri to Carbondale, Illinois, to as far as Murray and Madisonville, Kentucky.
A lack of moisture in the soil is a big concern for farmers with freshly planted soybeans and maturing corn. Most pastures are still considered to be in fair to good shape, but pastures in Missouri are reported to be deteriorating.
At the National Weather Service office in Paducah, .74 inches of rain have fallen since June 1st, which is .37 below normal for the month. This only aggravates the year-long deficit of precipitation. So far in 2012, Paducah has seen only 11.43 inches of precipitation, about half of the normal amount for the year. Paducah's rain deficit has grown for the year to 10.90 inches below normal.
Streamflows throughout the Ohio, Wabash and Mississippi valleys are running below normal. Levels on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes continue to be about a foot and a half below normal summer pool stage.
Meteorologists' models for the second half of June continue to call for above average temperatures and below average precipitation.
On the Net: Paducah Weather Service webpageMidwest Drought Monitor