Drought Effects (7/22/2011)

By: NWS Wichita

Drought Takes it Toll on Crops -  While Rivers see Below Normal Flows

By mid July, Exceptional Drought (D4) expands its grip further northward to encompass Kingman and Harper Counties, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.  Exceptional Drought is the highest intensity on the scale of the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Severe Drought (D3) progressed eastward to cover the western half of the Counties of Sedgwick and Sumner with the eastern part of these counties increasing a category to D2 of Severe Drought.

Below normal streamflow is seen across Central, South Central, and southeast Kansas. See the latest USGS map of daily streamflow compared to historical flows for July 14th below. (Refer to http://waterwatch.usgs.gov) Below normal streamflow conditions have been prevalant over Central and South Central KS since the end of April.


U.S. Drought Monitor valid July 12, 2011.  USGS map of daily streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) river gaging site on the Chikaskia River near Corbin is experiencing much below normal flows at this time of year.  The river stage on the afternoon of July 15th at this gage site was reporting 1.72 ft with a discharge flow of 1.1 cfs (cubic feet per second). The COOP observer at Caldwell sent in the picture of the Chikaskia river...showing many sandbars appearing with minimal water in the streambed. Compare this picture with the one on the right when the river was at 2.42 ft.    


Courtesy of Larry Rader. The Chikaskia River near Corbin, looking west from the Highway K49 Bridge with a stage of 1.72 ft. Taken on July 12th, 2011. The Chikaskia River near Corbin looking west from the Highway K49 Bridge when the river was at a stage of 2.42 ft.

This next picture is of stressed cornfields near Caldwell.

Courtesy of Larry Rader.  Picture take on July 12th, 2011.  Caldwell has received about 9.6 inches of rainfall so far this year compared to last year at this time of about 20 inches.


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

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