Lexington has not seen any measurable rainfall this month. In fact, we have been bone dry since August 27th. It's not that much of a surprise as September is Lexington's driest month. Here's another shocking fact, since July 23rd there have been only NINE days with measurable rainfall. The weeks of dry weather and the heat, which go hand-in-hand, have lead to a growing drought problem around the area.
The pattern changed as we entered the second half of the year. 2019 picked up right where last year, Lexington's wettest year on record, left off. There have been a little over 13 inches of rain since June 1st. It has been getting drier and drier as the summer has gone on. The annual surplus has been shrinking in the process.
The latest drought monitor was released Thursday. 42% of the Commonwealth is now abnormally dry, the lowest level on the drought monitor, and 11% is now in the moderate drought. Danville and parts of the Highway 150 corridor plus parts of eastern Kentucky around Jackson are included in the moderate drought. Last week 27% of the entire state was abnormally dry. The dry conditions have really expanded over the past seven days.
Heat and drought can perpetuate each other. The sun will bake soil with a low-moisture (dry ground) and warm the surrounding air in the process, leading to higher temperatures. The drier the ground gets the higher the temperature can go. On the flip side, this type of intense heat often comes courtesy of high pressure. Air sinks and heats up under a ridge of high pressure. This will keep the pattern dry. And the cycle continues...
The forecast keeps us mostly dry over the next eight days. There is a small window of opportunity for an isolated storm has a cold front rolls through late Friday through the first half of Saturday. Next Wednesday could also bring isolated storms, then that's it. We need some days of soaking rain to help dig us out of the hole that continues to deepen.