K-State Logo

K-State Research and Extension logo

go to Research and Extension home page

go to News

go to Publications and Videos

ask a question or make a comment

search the Research and Extension site






headWeather.gif (2461 bytes)


Drought Information

Drought Update

December 4, 2014


Drought conditions persist across the state, particularly in the west.  There was some degradation in the eastern portions of the state.  At the end of October the drought-free area had increased to almost 33 percent.  By the end of November, the drought-free area had shrunk to 29 percent. The colder temperatures during this month and the residual moisture from October moderated some of the negative impact from the lack of moisture in November. However, the continued dry pattern is likely to result in further expansion of drought in the North Central Division.  The likelihood of an El Niņo/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) continues to diminish.  It is still expected to switch to an El Niņo event before winter, but it also remains to be seen what impact will be felt.   Other global circulation patterns, including the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), can have significant impacts on the winter season.  The December temperature outlook is for warmer than normal temperatures for the entire state. The precipitation outlook is neutral, with precipitation equally likely to be above normal, normal or below normal.  This does not indicate how that moisture might be distributed, and means snow events or extended dry periods are both possible.


The Winter Outlook was also released. The outlook for Kansas calls for warmer than normal temperature, but is neutral on 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 Niņo continue to be reduced, and at this time if one develops it is expected to only be weak to moderate. El Niņo 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?




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

State Climatologist
1004 Throckmorton Hall
(785) 532-7019