State's Drought Worsens; Extreme In East and West

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's drought has worsened with both eastern and western counties now in the "extreme" category.

The weekly Palmer Drought Severity Index issued at the University of Kentucky shows the Central region remaining in "severe" drought. The Central region includes Louisville and Lexington. The National Weather Service reports current conditions in Kentucky are similar to those in 1998 and 1999.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is another often-cited drought measurement that is released on Thursdays. Last week, it had 70 percent of Kentucky in extreme drought.

The only significant rain that factored into the Palmer calculations were showers last Tuesday caused by the remnants of tropical storm Erin. There's a 20 percent chance of rain in Central Kentucky tomorrow or Thursday. The Palmer index shows the Bluegrass needs seven and three-quarters inches of above-normal rainfall to get out of the drought. The largest deficit is in Western Kentucky, where eleven and a quarter inches are needed.

The state is in its fourth week of below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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