Wichita Missed Again on Getting Some Much Needed Rainfall (8/15/2001)

By: Kevin Darmofal

THE LAST TIME MEASURABLE RAINFALL WAS REPORTED IN WICHITA WAS 19 DAYS AGO.

A PATTERN THAT HAS OCCURRED ALL TOO OFTEN THIS SUMMER HAPPENED AGAIN TODAY. THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS WESTERN KANSAS AND PARTS OF CENTRAL KANSAS FADED AS THEY MOVED TOWARD THE WICHITA AREA OF SOUTH CENTRAL KANSAS EARLY THIS MORNING. ALTHOUGH AREAS TO THE NORTH AND WEST RECEIVED SOME MUCH NEEDED RAINFALL...THE MID-CONTINENT AIRPORT AND GREATER WICHITA ONLY RECEIVED A MEAGER TRACE OF RAINFALL. SINCE JUNE 9TH, WICHITA HAS ONLY RECEIVED 2.20 INCHES OF RAINFALL. THE NORMAL RAINFALL FOR THAT 67 DAY PERIOD IS 7.52 INCHES, WHICH IS A DEFICIT OF 5.32 INCHES. TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, WICHITA HAS ONLY RECEIVED 29 PERCENT OF ITS NORMAL RAINFALL OVER THE PAST TWO PLUS MONTHS.

THE LAST TIME MEASURABLE RAINFALL WAS REPORTED AT THE MID-CONTINENT AIRPORT WAS 19 DAYS AGO, ON JULY 27TH, WHEN 0.42 INCHES OF RAIN FELL. THE DRY SPELL HAS RESULTED IN GREEN LAWNS TURNING INCREASINGLY YELLOW-BROWN ACROSS THE AREA, WITH STRESS TO CROPS AND VEGETATION INCLUDING THE AREAS MILO CROP.

THE LATEST PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX, WHICH IS A MEASURE OF PROLONGED MOISTURE DEFICIENCY OR EXCESS, CONTINUES TO PUT PARTS OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST KANSAS IN THE CATEGORIES RANGING FROM, INCIPIENT TO MILD DROUGHT. THE PALMER DROUGHT CATEGORIES RANGE FROM EXTREME DROUGHT, MINUS 4.0 AND BELOW, TO EXTREME MOIST SPELL, PLUS 4.0 AND ABOVE. AREAS FROM WICHITA EASTWARD INTO SOUTHEAST KANSAS RATED A MINUS 1.6 IN THE PERIOD ENDING ON AUGUST 11TH, WHICH IS IN THE MILD DROUGHT CATEGORY.

INPUT TO THE PALMER INDEX INCLUDE THE WEEKLY PRECIPITATION TOTALS ACROSS A GIVEN CLIMATE REGION AND THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE. OTHER PARAMETERS AND CONSTANTS DEALING WITH THE SOIL MOISTURE ARE ALSO CONSIDERED IN THE CALCULATIONS.

ALTHOUGH THERE ARE SLIGHT CHANCES OF RAIN THURSDAY NIGHT AND AGAIN ON FRIDAY NIGHT, THE OVERALL WEATHER PATTERN STILL LOOKS DRY INTO THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK. IF THE DRY CONDITIONS CONTINUE, ANOTHER STATEMENT WITH AN UPDATE TO THE PALMER INDEX WILL BE ISSUED AGAIN NEXT WEEK.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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