Drought Conditions Upgraded, Rain Soon?

Another update to the drought conditions just released and puts a good portion of southeastern KY in the D3, or extreme drought, category. This came in just before that little bit of rainfall relief was received across the state yesterday, but simply not enough.

Below is the Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) platform displaying 24-hour QPE:

MRMS QPE estimated rainfall - Courtesy NOAA/NSSL

MRMS QPE estimated rainfall – Courtesy NOAA/NSSL

Despite this, here’s the latest drought condition map for the state. As you can see above, little precipitation fell across the state, but this was expected.

Drought Monitor for KY

Drought Monitor for KY

As mentioned in the last post, active jet stream conditions will favor cyclogenesis and low pressure systems over the Ohio Valley within the coming days. Ideally, warm sector conditions and cold fronts will produce rainfall, but its uncertain exactly where and how much. Below is an image from the GFS Ensemble showing forecast QPF:

It looks like a  range from around 1″ to 1.75″ is expected across the state, which would be very beneficial to drought and possible wild fire conditions in the Commonwealth. A good portion of this is expected to arrive on Tuesday when an amplified trough approaches from the west parenting a low pressure system.

Latest GFS runs below help to paint this picture; 300 hPa winds, 500 hPa vorticity, MSLP & PWAT valid for 12 Z Tuesday:

This will be a fairly dynamic system which has good potential for bringing some very needed rain to the state, hopefully this pans out!

Otherwise, we remain in the typical up and down jet stream pattern we typically see this time of year. Cold -> warming -> precipitation -> cold -> repeat. Hopefully this puts a dent in the drought conditions soon, for us, and much of the southeast US as well. Fingers crossed!


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