Drought Conditions Continue Across Far Southwest Kansas

OVERVIEW...  
 
THE LATEST DROUGHT MONITOR ISSUED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF  
AGRICULTURE ON JUNE 26 SHOWS PROGRESSIVELY WORSENING DRY CONDITIONS  
FROM MODERATE IN THE AREAS OF GARDEN CITY AND DODGE CITY TO  
EXCEPTIONAL AT ELKHART. SOME SPECIFICS INCLUDE BIG BOW 4 WSW, 5.91  
INCHES OF RAINFALL SINCE OCTOBER 1, 2007, WHICH IS 64 PERCENT OF  
NORMAL (9.21 INCHES), AND ELKHART HAVING ONLY 3.49 INCHES OF  
RAINFALL SINCE OCTOBER 1, 30 PERCENT OF THE NORMAL OF 11.65 INCHES.  
FOR OTHER SELECTED LOCATIONS SINCE OCTOBER 1: HUGOTON 4.97 INCHES,  
41 PERCENT OF NORMAL (12.06 INCHES); LAKIN 4.67 INCHES, 40 PERCENT  
OF NORMAL (11.59 INCHES); RICHFIELD 10 WSW 3.64 INCHES, 36 PERCENT  
OF NORMAL (10.17 INCHES) AND ULYSSES 3NE 4.32 INCHES, 39 PERCENT OF  
NORMAL (10.97 INCHES).  
Estimated precipitation is available through the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service web page:
Click on the thumbnail below for:
Estimated precipitation since October 1, 2007

Estimated Precipitation Since October 1, 2007
Estimated departure from normal since October 1, 2007 
Precipitation deficit since October 1, 2007
Estimated percent of normal since October 1, 2007
Precent of normal

FOR DODGE CITY, THERE HAS BEEN 11.49 INCHES OF RAINFALL SINCE  
OCTOBER 1, WHICH IS 78 PERCENT OF NORMAL. HOWEVER, SINCE JUNE 2001  
(85 MONTHS) THE RAINFALL DEFICIT IS 22.88 INCHES (ROUGHLY THE YEARLY  
AVERAGE), AND IS IN THE TOP 20 PERCENT OF THE DRIEST 85-MONTH  
PERIODS ON RECORD. THE DRIEST SUCH PERIOD WAS OCTOBER 1932-NOVEMBER  
1939 WHEN THERE WAS A DEFICIT OF 55.4 INCHES OR 65 PERCENT OF  
NORMAL.  
 
THE JET STREAM PATTERN RESPONSIBLE FOR VERY HEAVY TO EXCEPTIONAL  
FLOODING RAINFALL FOR AREAS SUCH AS EASTERN KANSAS AND MISSOURI INTO  
PARTICULARLY HARD HIT IOWA HAS ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THE INTENSE  
DROUGHT CONDITIONS OVER EXTREME SOUTHWEST KANSAS (EXTENDING INTO THE  
OKLAHOMA AND NORTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLES). THIS WEATHER PATTERN HAS  
WEAKENED DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS. WHILE MORE "TYPICAL" SUMMERTIME  
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY APPEARS PROBABLE, NO SIGNIFICANT RELIEF IS  
LIKELY FROM THE DROUGHT THROUGH THIS SUMMER. OFFICIAL FORECASTS  
FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) SUGGEST SOME IMPROVEMENT.  
 
HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS...  
 
CURRENTLY THERE IS NO WATER FLOWING IN THE STREAM AND CREEK BEDS FOR  
THE LOCATIONS IMPACTED BY THIS DROUGHT. FLOWS ALONG THE ARKANSAS  
RIVER IN EXTREME WESTERN KANSAS ARE A RESULT OF RELEASES FROM JOHN  
MARTIN RESERVOIR FOR IRRIGATION PURPOSES.  
 
FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...  
 
RAINFALL THIS SPRING HAS BEEN INSUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT MUCH GREEN UP  
OF VEGETATION IN STANTON, MORTON AND STEVENS COUNTIES, AND CURED  
VEGETATION WILL SUPPORT RAPID SPREAD OF WILDFIRES. THE POTENTIAL FOR  
WILDFIRES WILL BE EXTREME WHENEVER STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE  
HUMIDITIES DEVELOP. IN GRANT, HASKELL AND SEWARD COUNTIES, THERE HAS  
BEEN ENOUGH RAINFALL TO SUPPORT ABOUT 80% GREEN UP. CURED GRASSES  
WILL CARRY FIRE EFFECTIVELY, AND RAPIDLY SPREADING WILDFIRES WILL BE  
POSSIBLE WHENEVER ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE. A COUNTYWIDE  
BURN BAN IS IN EFFECT IN MORTON COUNTY. LITTLE IMPROVEMENT IS  
EXPECTED UNLESS WIDESPREAD RAINFALL OCCURS.  
 
AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...  
 
SOIL MOISTURE DEFICITS ARE VERY HIGH, GREATER THAN 4 INCHES OF  
RAINFALL FOR MORTON AND STEVENS COUNTIES PER CPC THROUGH JULY 1.  
YIELDS FROM DRY LAND CROPS HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED. THERE  
HAS ALSO BEEN CONSIDERABLE WIND EROSION PARTICULARLY FOR LOCATIONS  
IN STEVENS COUNTY.  
 
OUTLOOK...  
 
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY FOR THE  
DROUGHT IMPACTED AREAS. HOWEVER, FORECASTS FROM CPC THROUGH WEEK-2  
TILT THE ODDS TOWARD ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND BELOW NORMAL  
RAINFALL. THESE SAME OFFICIAL FORECASTS SHOW NO PROBABILITY SHIFTS  
OF TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION THROUGH AUGUST.


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