10th Anniversary of August 29, 2003 Heavy Rain

Today is the 10th anniversary of the August 29th, 2003 heavy rain event that affected Dodge City and immediate surrounding area. Note that the Dodge City National Weather Service Office (Weather Bureau prior to 1970) was located downtown through 1942 and near the airport thereafter. As we all know, rain totals can vary tremendously over short distances. For the August 29-30th, 2003 event, 2-day rain totals varied from 4.52 inches at the Dodge City National Weather Service office to 7 inches near the Mariah Hills Golf Course to 10 inches 4 miles west-northwest of Dodge City. Most of this rain occurred in just a few hours on the 29th. The next evening, a flash flood occurred on the Kansas turnpike, with several fatalities.

Now that we are approaching meteorological fall (September-November), let's take a look at the top 28 precipitation events since 1875 for Dodge City (shown below). Fifteen events occurred in summer (June-August), 7 occurred in fall and 6 in spring (March-May). None of the events occurred in winter. Of the 7 events that occurred in fall, 4 were in October. Interestingly, even though the event on October 25, 1997 was almost entirely rain in Dodge City, very heavy snow fell further west in Kansas with blizzard conditions. Twelve inches of snow fell in Garden City, with 22 inches at Tribune and up to 30 inches in eastern Colorado.


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