restricted access The 2007 Mid-South Summer Drought and Heat Wave in Historical Perspective

The 2007 summer drought and heat wave that scorched Kentucky and Tennessee affected stakeholders in the agriculture, tourism, and water supply industries, among others. The drought and heat wave also generated large amounts of media coverage and was touted as being among the worst in history. But how does the 2007 summer drought and heat wave that affected the Mid-South rank compared to the notable droughts in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s? Using climate division data and state composite data for Kentucky and Tennessee we performed a statistical analysis that allowed us to place the 2007 summer drought and heat wave into proper historical perspective. While the 2007 drought was among the all-time worst in Tennessee history, there have been many more notable drought periods in Kentucky.