Kentucky Monthly Weather Summary

For the Period: December 2016 Near Normal Temperatures and Above Normal Rainfall: The story coming into the month of December was the overall lack of rainfall across the area and ongoing drought. The last update of the US Drought Monitor in November had 25% of the state, mainly in South-Central and Southeastern Kentucky, in an 'Extreme' drought. Much of the remaining area was under a 'Severe' Drought. Luckily, the weather pattern became much more active throughout the last month of 2016. The final December update of the US Drought Monitor on the 27th actually showed no drought conditions across the state with only 'Abnormally Dry' conditions lingering. The most significant rainfall fell between the 12th and 18th. After seeing periodic rounds of showers early that week, a strong cold front pushed through the Bluegrass State on the 17th and 18th. Some severe weather accompanied the passage of the cold front, along with heavy rain from time to time. Overall, the state averaged nearly 2.5 inches, which was the most Kentucky has seen in a single week since the middle of August. The active pattern continued through the end of December with the state averaging over 5.5 inches, which was more than an inch above normal. This broke a streak of three straight months with below normal precipitation. While the focus of December was on the return of an active pattern, temperatures fluctuated throughout, but overall, ended near normal for the month. Kentucky saw extremes on both ends of the spectrum. The coldest temperatures of December were seen following the passage of Arctic front on the night of the 14th. Low temperatures dipped into the single digits/teens and only rose into the 20s the next day. Wind chills dropped to either side of 0 at times, pushing the livestock cold stress index into the Emergency category. On the other side of the spectrum, temperatures soared into the 70s for portions of the state for Christmas Day and the day after, breaking records. Temperatures for the period averaged 38 degrees across the state which was near normal for the period. High temperatures averaged from 45 in the West to 47 in the East. Departure from normal high temperatures ranged from 3 degrees cooler than normal in the West to 1 degree cooler than normal in the East. Low temperatures averaged from 30 degrees in the West to 31 degrees in the East. Departure from normal low temperature ranged from near normal in the West to 4 degrees warmer than normal in the East. The extreme high temperature for the period was 77 at HARTFORD 3E and the extreme low was 6 at ALEXANDRIA 5NW. Precipitation (liq. equ.) for the period totaled 5.54 inches statewide which was 1.12 inches above normal and 125% of normal. Precipitation totals by climate division, West 5.29 inches, Central 6.06 inches, Bluegrass 5.26 inches and East 5.53 inches, which was 0.46, 1.26, 1.41 and 1.32 inches above normal. By station, precipitation totals ranged from a low of 0.91 inches at CARBONDALE ASOS to a high of 8.21 inches at ALBANY 1N.

2016 Monthly Summary Archive


Past Years Growing Season Summary

KY Precipitation Departures

KY Temperature Departures