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Drought Information

Continued deterioration          

Although temperatures have moderated this week, precipitation amounts were lacking.  The North Central division fared best, with an average of 1.26 inches or 76 percent of normal.  The South Central division had the greatest shortfall, with an average of just 0.47 inches, or 31 percent of normal.

Drought Update September 19, 2014

The end of August and the start to September saw major changes in the Drought Monitor. Heavier than average precipitation, coupled with cooler than normal temperatures allowed for large improvements across the state. Extreme drought was removed from the Northwest division. Large areas of eastern KS moved into the drought free category.

An area of Northeast KS, including most of Washington County remains in moderate drought. In western KS, severe drought continues to dominate a large portion of the region, and extreme drought persists is Southwestern KS in Morton, Stevens, Seward and Meade counties. The drought outlook covering the period through the end of the year calls for continued improvement, to the point of removal, across most of the state. In western KS, while improvement is expected the complete removal of drought is not likely.

In addition to the precipitation, a large factor in the improved drought conditions were the cooler than normal temperatures that have prevailed for most of September. Mean temperatures for the September 1 – September 17th period were below normal for most of the state. In the northern counties, the departure was 6 to 8 degrees cooler than normal. Most of the state had temperatures averaging 3 or more degrees below normal. The exception was a small area of central KS, including Barton, Pawnee, and Stafford counties. Preliminary reports show these areas averaged 3 to 5 degrees above normal. Much of this departure from normal was from low readings on the 13th and 14th of September. Many locations in the state saw low temperatues in the mid to lower 30s. The lowest reading was 29 oF at Alton 2SW reported on the 13th.

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 October 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, with the exception of the southwestern corner of the state, where there is a slight tilt toward wetter than normal conditions for the period. 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