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Drought Information

Drought Update

October 17, 2014

Generally beneficial rains fell across all but the Northwestern Division during the first half of October. State-wide average precipitation was 2.44 inches, which is 86 percent of normal. The Fall moisture (Sep 1 – Oct 16) averaged 5.33 inches, or 133 percent of normal. Mound Valley, in Southeastern KS has had the wettest month-to-date with 11.87 inches. Meanwhile, the average precipitation in Northwestern KS was only 0.47 inches, or just half of normal. The weekly precipitation, ending on the 16th was heaviest in the Southeastern division. Many locations saw more than the average total for the month in just a few days. Localized flooding was a problem.

The seasonal drought outlook calls for continued drought with some improvement in the southwestern part of the state. For the rest of the state improvement is expected to be significant enough to result in removal of the drought entirely. The November climate outlook calls for equal chances for above or below normal temperatures statewide. Precipitation chances are also equally likely to be above or below normal. Normal precipitation in November ranges from around 0.75 inches In the west to over 4 inches in the southeast. Average precipitation continues to decline, particularly in the west , as we move into the winter season. Normal precipitation for the December through February period combined is less the the normal March precipitation for many locations. This is again particularly true in the west, where extreme to severe drought continues.

The Winter Outolook was also released. The outlook for Kansas is neutral, both for temperature and precipitation. This means conditions are equally likely to be above normal, below normal, or normal for the average of the three months , December through February. The Southeastern Division has the highest average precipitation at over 5 inches, while along the western KS border, the three month total averages less than and a half. Chances for an El Niño continue to be reduced, and at this time if one develops it is expected to only be weak to moderate. El Niño conditions favor milder and wetter than normal conditions in KS during the winter but it is not the only global circulation pattern than can produce those conditions. A persistent ridge to the west, similar to last year, could also favor a wetter than normal winter period.


For additional information check out these links:

Weather Data Library at K-State Research & Extension
Drought Preparedness and Response                                                                       

Weather For Burning
  NWS Topeka Fire Weather

   NWS Wichita Fire Weather
   NWS Dodge City Fire Weather
   National Fire Weather Information

State Fire Marshall Office

Current Drought Conditions
                   Kansas Water Office drought report (pdf)      8/14/2012

Agricultural Policy Information


Drought Decision Aids, Options, and Considerations for:


Municipal and Home

USDA Article Covering All Four Aspects Mentioned Above 

How Do I Plan For A Drought?




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Updated spreadsheets for Valuing Droughty Silage:
                                                              EXCEL version    2012

State Climatologist
1004 Throckmorton Hall
(785) 532-7019