It certainly has been nice having beneficial rains around Kansas this spring after the devastating drought and heat of 2011. The result of the moisture (along with early warm temperatures) has been a significant green-up around the region. Some folks have exclaimed that the drought is over. But is it? The top layers of the earth are certainly moist at most locations but probing into the deeper layers of the ground yields dry conditions.
As a testament, take a look at the precipitation deficit at Dodge City. Since October 1, 2010 there is a 10.09" deficit of moisture. Going all the way back to June of 2001 the deficit is a whopping 27 inches! Similar conditions exist at other locations. If it becomes dry for an extended period then rapid browning will occur as the topsoil moisture is used up by growing vegetation. Fortunately, there does not appear to be an extended dry period anticipated, at least at the current time.
On the images below, click for a larger version.
Precipitation since October 1, 2010 at Dodge City
Precipitation since June1, 2001 at Dodge City
Precipitation deficit at Dodge City since June 1, 2001.
Jeff A. Hutton
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
(620) 225-6746 x 726