March Temperatures in Kansas Second Warmest on Record
Statewide March Average Precipitation was 15 Percent above Normal
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Following on the heels of a warmer than usual winter, preliminary data indicate March temperatures in Kansas averaged 54.5 degrees F, which was 11.7 degrees warmer than normal, according to Kansas climatologist Mary Knapp.
“This marked it as the second warmest March on record for the state,” said Knapp, who oversees the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University. “The warmest March occurred in 1910, when the statewide average temperature was 54.7 degrees F.”
The western divisions had the smallest departures from average, with southwest Kansas averaging 53.1 degrees F or 9.6 degrees warmer than normal. The northeast division, with an average of 56.3 degrees F was the warmest at 13.1 degrees above normal.
“The biggest departures were in the minimum temperatures,” Knapp said. While 185 daily record highs were met or broken across the state, 323 record warm minimums were matched or broken. The highest reading was 89 degrees F at Atwood (Rawlins County) on March 18 and Liberal (Seward County) on March 26. The coldest reading for the month was 12 degrees F at a weather station 14 miles north of Tribune (Greeley County) on March 2.
Preliminary statewide average precipitation was 2.44 inches, which was 115 percent of normal, which made it the 32nd wettest March since 1895. Southeast Kansas was the wettest in overall precipitation at an average of 5.10 inches or 169 percent of normal, while northwest Kansas was the driest, with an average precipitation of 0.87 inches or 61 percent of normal.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor showed a decrease in the area of all drought categories, Knapp said. The biggest improvement was a reduction in the area covered by “exceptional” to “extreme” drought. The “exceptional” drought no longer is listed in the state. Currently, just under 45 percent of Kansas is reported as in abnormally dry to some degree of drought.
The latest Drought Outlook indicates drought conditions are expected to continue to persist in southwestern portions of the state, she added. The La Niña continues, but is expected to fade by late April. There is a slight increase in the probability of drier-than-average conditions in the western third of the state, and equal chances for above- or below-normal precipitation in the rest of the state. Temperatures are expected to stay above average.
Information about Kansas weather is available on the Weather Data Library website. “Weather Wonders” audio reports are available on the K-State Research and Extension News Media website.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Mary Lou Petermlpeter@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Mary Knapp – 785-532-6247 or email@example.com