drought

NC DC.NOAA.GOV

Officials in some Kentucky communities may need to gauge their local water supply levels closely in the weeks ahead.

Kentucky Division of Forestry

Dry conditions and unseasonably warm temperatures have caused a rash of wildfires across Kentucky. Nearly 30,000 acres of forest and grassland have burned in the eastern half of the state.

Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Most of Kentucky is officially under a Level 1 drought status. The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet issued the declaration Thursday for 117 counties.

WKMS

A bill moving through the Kentucky General Assembly would establish a new board that would advise the state Energy and Environment Cabinet on water resources issues like drought preparedness.

House Bill 529 has already passed the Kentucky House and has received two readings in the Senate.

CraneStation / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

A group of Vanderbilt University environmental engineers have developed a new tool for identifying drought severity over smaller areas, allowing farmers and emergency officials to better mitigate the effects.

Ph.D candidate at the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment (VIEE) and 2006 Murray State University alum Leslie Duncan was one of the developers of the new drought index calculator.  

Kentucky Food Prices Increase Following Last Summer’s Drought

Apr 29, 2013

Average retail food prices in Kentucky supermarkets increased a little over half a percent during the first quarter of this year according to the latest Market Basket survey from the Kentucky Farm Bureau.

Dan Smaldone, the Bureau’s director of public relations, said the Farm Bureau totaled the cost of forty basic grocery items and the price came to $116.27. He says that’s 74 cents more than the previous quarter.

From NPR: Last year, drought devastated many corn farmers, so you think they’d welcome all the spring rain. But it’s putting them behind schedule because they can’t plant in soaked fields.

www.en.wikipedia.com

Small businesses and agriculture operatives have less than a month left to apply for federal economic injury disaster loans as result of this summer’s drought. The deadline for the Small Business Administration assistance is March 12.  Loans through the program can be up to $2 million with interest rates as low as four percent for eligible small businesses and three percent for nonprofits.

NOAA, wikipedia.org

This weekend’s rainfall has briefly alleviated dropping water levels on the Mississippi River, but it didn't put a dent in persisting drought conditions in the area. National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Smith says most places in western Kentucky got 4 to 5 inches but they are still up to 20 inches below average rainfall. The Mississippi River levels are between 12 and 13 feet but Smith expects those levels to drop back to 5 feet in just a few weeks.

wikipedia

Although western Kentucky has already seen its first snow storm of the season, experts say much more will have to fall to ease farmers’ pain from the past summer’s drought. The Dec. 26 snow storm dropped up to 7 inches of snow in Kentucky and up to a foot in some places in Illinois. But climatologists say it would take at least 8 feet of snow to return the soil to its pre-drought condition in time for spring planting. The average snowfall for Paducah is 10 inches, so the large amount of snowfall isn’t likely to happen.

Pages