Kentuckians finding steamy, drought conditions

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- Kentucky experienced a lot of rain through the first half of the year, but that has reversed itself in recent weeks, with much of the state now in a drought situation.

September is one of Kentucky’s driest months, and this year is no exception, with only widely scattered rain this month.

According to National Weather Service official reporting stations, Louisville, Frankfort and Jackson have received no rain so far in the month of September. Lexington, Bowling Green, London and the Ashland/Huntington area have recorded only a trace. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is the lone exception, with about a half inch of rain this month, 0.49 inches, to be exact.

This is a stark contrast from last year, where September rainfall through Sept. 18 ranged from just over two inches at Frankfort and Bowling Green, to more than six inches at Lexington and Ashland/Huntington.

The lack of rain has led to 40 percent of Kentucky being classified as abnormally dry, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor report issued on Thursday, September 19, with another 26 percent in the moderate drought category.

The U.S Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of agriculture and the National Oceanic and atmospheric Administration. The accompanying map, courtesy of NDMC, shows counties with no drought conditions in white, abnormally dry areas in yellow and those experiencing moderate drought in tan.

Also, 61 Kentucky counties have declared burn bans, due to the dry conditions, according to the Kentucky Division of Forestry. As of Thursday, they are:

AdairJessamineMuhlenberg
AllenJohnsonOldham
AndersonKnottOwen
BarrenKnoxPerry
BathLaurelPike
BoyleLeePowell
ButlerLetcherPulaski
CaseyLewisRockcastle
EdmonsonLincolnScott
ElliottLoganShelby
EstillMadisonSimpson
FayetteMagoffinSpencer
FlemingMarionTodd
FloydMasonTrimble
GarrardMcCleanWarren
GraysonMcCrearyWashington
HarrisonMenifeeWayne
HenryMercerWhitley
HickmanMetcalfeWolfe
HopkinsMonroeWoodford
Jackson

The Division of Forestry warns that they aren’t always notified when a burn ban is issued. Therefore, it is always best to check with your local fire department or your County Judge-Executive's office.

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