September Rain Helps Kansas Become Drought-Free

By Jeffrey Wichman, K-State
September 20, 2016
Jim Richardson Photography

In May, Kansas became totally drought-free for the first time since April 2011. However, a portion of the state slid back into moderate drought over the summer.

Now, K-State Research and Extension climatologist Mary Knapp reports that the state is once again drought-free.

“Northwest Kansas saw some beneficial moisture here in September and that has managed to erase the moderate drought as well as the abnormally dry conditions,” said Knapp. “So we’ll hope that that continues for a while.”

If the extended outlook for October doesn’t miss the mark, Knapp says we could see those rainfall totals continue to climb.

“We do have an outlook for a slight chance for wetter-than-normal conditions,” Knapp said. “And it’s pretty much a bullseye over Kansas, moving a little bit into the eastern plains of Colorado…into northern Oklahoma and southern Nebraska, but really centered on Kansas.”

Knapp says Haysville, which has already received more than 11 inches of rain this month, has smashed its record of just over 7 inches of precipitation in 2008. Hiawatha, with nearly 10 inches of rain this month, needs another 2-and-a-half inches to break its record of 12.31 inches set in 1977. The statewide average precipitation record for September, 8.32 inches, was set in 1973. Knapp says that record could be in jeopardy, but we won’t know until the end of the month.