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Early week rainfall a welcome reprieve in Central and Eastern Ky., but more is needed to bust drought

The weekly U. S. Drought Monitor shows improvement in most of the state. Rain forecast Friday into Saturday could help even more. The key to colors: White indicates no drought, yellow is abnormally dry, tan is moderate drought, orange is severe drought and red is extreme drought.

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

While rain that fell Sunday and Monday in Kentucky was very welcome, it wasn’t enough to be a drought buster, according to the United State Drought Monitor data released on Thursday.

Some parts of the state received up to five inches of rain, particularly in central and eastern parts of the state, while most of the west saw less than an inch.

The U. S. Drought Monitor, which is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says a full category of improvement was made to conditions over much of Kentucky.

Specifically, the area considered in Extreme Drought, fell from four percent of Kentucky last week, to one percent, consisting of parts of three eastern Kentucky counties.

A big improvement was seen in the Severe Drought category, which dropped from last week’s 54 percent of the state, to 16 percent.

Much of the area that had been in Severe Drought, moved to the Moderate Drought category, which rose from 33 percent of Kentucky to 49 percent.

The part of Kentucky that is considered Abnormally Dry, increased from eight percent to 30 percent, as a result of areas that have improved from the various drought categories.

Three percent of the had no issues this week, whereas last week the figure was zero.

While nearly all of Kentucky’s 120 counties had outdoor burning bans in effect last week, that number has dropped to 71, due to improved conditions. However, the Fall Forest Fire Hazard Season lasts until December 15, according to state law. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mother nature will be providing more drought relief this weekend, as rain is in the forecast across Kentucky Friday into Saturday, with higher amounts in the west.

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