Rainfall in western Kansas

5/1/2014

By KELTON BROOKS

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram.com

Since 2010, western Kansas has endured conditions ranging from moderate, severe and even extreme drought.

Mary Knapp, state climatologist, said western Kansas is one of the regions that is experiencing extreme drought and is far behind normal year-to-date rain totals.

"It's going to take a considerable amount of rainfall," Knapp said. "A week of rain just won't do it."

Knapp hopes El Nino will have a benficial effect on Kansas. El Nino is a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns.

Knapp said that the drought shrunk in 2012 from Elkhart to Garden City because of a wetter winter, but degraded to severe drought the following year.

As of Wednesday the driest area is in Liberal, at 8 percent of the normal rainfall year-to-date total, and the wettest is Tribune at 63 percent of normal rainfall year-to-date totals.

Here's a look at rain totals, in inches, for counties in southwest Kansas since Jan 1:

County    year-to-date    April    Normal to date

Clark          1.51              .32       4.74

Finney        1.44              .69       3.96

Ford           1.85              .74        4.67

Grant          1.94             1.04      3.30

Gray           1.98              .99       4.71

Greeley      2.31              .99       3.68    

Hamilton     1.39              .73       3.31    

Haskell       1.32              .56       3.53    

Hodgeman  2.15             .71       5.18    

Kearny        1.70             .98        3.31    

Lane            2.44             .92        4.67    

Meade         1.98             .41        4.95    

Morton          .67              .12        3.82    

Ness            1.52             .42        4.88    

Scott            1.08             NA        4.38

Seward         .31              NA        4.13

Stanton        1.11             .66        3.13

Stevens        1.77           1.10       3.48

Wichita         1.66            .90        4.33

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