While snow was wet, need still not met

1/31/2013

Moisture welcome, but drought still persists across southwest Kansas.

Moisture welcome, but drought still persists across southwest Kansas.

BY RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Although the current drought in the U.S. may see some areas of improvement, it is likely to persist in Kansas and Colorado.

Tuesday's storm brought some moisture to southwest Kansas as Garden City saw 1 to 2 inches in most places, and locations to the east of Garden City received even more, according to Wesley Hovorka, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Dodge City.

He said Garden City and Finney County had 1 to 2 inches in most places. East of Finney County, a few places had 3 inches of snow.

At the Garden City Regional Airport, 1 inch of snow was recorded.

"Inside of Garden City, you had about two inches," he said.

As the storm moved farther east, some parts of Hodgeman County received 2 to 4 inches. The deepest snow was in Great Bend, where about 4.5 inches fell, Hovorka said.

"As you go west of Garden City, it tapered off. It was anywhere from 0.5 inches to an inch westward. It tapered down as you go south, with little to no snow in the southern counties," he said.

Hovorka said the storm's moisture carried about a 5:1 ratio, meaning 5 inches of snow was equal to 1 inch of moisture.

"Usually you see a 10:1 ratio, sometimes, more, sometimes less," he said.

According to climate data out of NWS in Dodge City, Garden City received 0.02 inches of precipitation Tuesday, with 0.13 inches since Jan. 1 and 0.83 inches since Dec. 1, 2012.

Since Dec. 1, those totals are normal. But since Jan. 1, it's an 0.18 inch less than normal, which for this time of year is 0.31 inches.

The area is coming off a 6-inch deficit in 2012, Hovorka said.

Most of southwest Kansas is in the extreme to exceptional drought categories, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report.

No precipitation is predicted in Garden City heading in to the weekend, with today's high expected to be 38 with sunny skies, according to the NWS.

Friday is forecasted to be 51 and sunny, Saturday 54 and sunny and Sunday 58 and sunny, according to the NWS.

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