Variation in quantities such as precipitation and temperature is often assessed by detecting and characterizing trends in available meteorological data. The objective of this study was to determine the long-term trends in annual precipitation and mean annual air temperature for the state of Kentucky. Non-parametric statistical tests were applied to homogenized and (as needed) pre-whitened annual series of precipitation and mean air temperature during 1950–2010. Significant trends in annual precipitation were detected (both positive, averaging 4.1 mm/year) for only two of the 60 precipitation-homogenous weather stations (Calloway and Carlisle counties in rural western Kentucky). Only three of the 42 temperature-homogenous stations demonstrated trends (all positive, averaging 0.01 °C/year) in mean annual temperature: Calloway County, Allen County in southern-central Kentucky, and urbanized Jefferson County in northern-central Kentucky. In view of the locations of the stations demonstrating positive trends, similar work in adjacent states will be required to better understand the processes responsible for those trends and to properly place them in their larger context, if any.

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Published in Climate, v. 4, issue 1, 10, p. 1-15.

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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