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.
A top Army Corps of Engineers official says an updated forecast means it’s unlikely the lower Mississippi River will close to shipping. Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy tells interested state lawmakers the agency won't scale back the amount of Missouri River water it began withholding last month from the Mississippi. Lawmakers and the barge industry had sought the extra water to prevent a shipping crisis.
The Army Corps of Engineers has begun reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially halt barge traffic at St. Louis within weeks.
For some, a natural Christmas tree is the only way to go for the holidays.
The evergreen trees sold during the Christmas season take up to seven years to reach maturity. During that growing season, weather and animals are the tree farmer’s biggest enemies. This year the region’s industry was another victim of the 2012 drought.