December Drought Status

Over the past few years, Kansas has been particularly dry. I have done drought story after drought story, but recent rains are changing things…in a positive way.

Most of Northeast Kansas has picked up a general three-quarters-of-an-inch to an inch since midnight – a soaking rain, indeed. In fact, Billard Airport picked up 1.04 inches!

Let’s take a look at what the U.S. Drought Monitor looked like at the beginning of the year. All of our viewing area was “Abnormally Dry” – with a large portion of Western Kansas in a “Severe Drought.” Fast-forward to September – Northeast Kansas crawled into a moderate drought with the rest of the state up to severe and extreme drought conditions. But, around that time – I did a story about “El Nino-like” conditions starting to form in the South Pacific. You’ll remember that El Nino is the unusual warming of those waters – which can lead to rains returning to the Great Plains.

We picked up nearly 4 inches of rain in october – about 2 inches above average for that month. Here’s what the U.S. Drought Monitor looks like now. A huge improvement in about ten weeks’ time. So the question is now – when will this rain turn into snow?

– Kansas First News Storm Track Meteorologist Kyle Borchert

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