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Drought Information

Increased Drought Stress
April 11, 2014

With warmer temperatures, the lack of surface moisture has begun to impact winter wheat as it moves out of dormancy.  In addition, the low humidity and high winds have resulted in frequent Red Flag days.  This concentration of the fire season means that many producers are burning the same day. The result has been smoke problems last weekend.   According to the latest Drought Monitor, no part of the state is drought free and the area of Abnormal Dry conditions continues to shrink.  Last week 8 percent of the state was Abnormally Dry.  This week that percentage has shrunk to just 1 percent of the state, as the area in Moderate drought has increased by a similar  amount.  In western KS, more of the region as moved into the Extreme drought category, although the major shift occurred at the end of March. The portion of the state in Extreme drought has increased to 14.34 percent.

Moisture has been limited.  The wet start to the month gave way to more scattered precipitation amounts. The wettest day, so far, is April 3rd, when the state-wide average was 0.18 inches.  However, much of that rainfall was confined to extreme East Central, KS.  The largest amount reported for that day was 3.83 inches, near Iola in Allen County. Daily rainfall average for the state was greater than a tenth of an inch on only 2 days so far this month. 

The latest Seasonal Drought Outlook indicates drought conditions are expected to continue through May, although there might be some improvement in the eastern areas of the state.  The El Niņo/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to remain neutral through the Spring.  That means the signal for increased Spring precipitation will also be weaker.  For April, chances are equally likely for precipitation to be above or below normal state-wide.  The temperature outlook calls for below normal temperatures across the extreme northeastern part of the state, with equal chances for above or below normal temperatures across the remainder of the state.  This does not indicate how much cooler conditions might be, and does not exclude the possibility of warm weather in the period. 

Below are the latest Drought Monitor and Kansas Drought conditions.  Also shown are the Drought Outlook, the 8-14 day and the April precipitation outlooks, the quantity of precipitation map for the next week and the latest EASAL vegetative condition map:



For additional information check out these links:

K-State Research & Extension Drought Information 

Wind Erosion Prevention from the Wind Erosion Lab:
   Soil Erosion by Wind and its Control                                                                

     An important article on the processes and economics of wind erosion, its causes and ways of control.
     In addition to the article, there are three videos illustrating the important ideas.

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)     3/21/2014

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?




Recent Topics:
Updated spreadsheets for Valuing Droughty Silage:
                                                              EXCEL version    2012

State Climatologist
1004 Throckmorton Hall
(785) 532-7019