Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Wichita, KS
AXUS73 KICT 231655
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS
1155 AM CDT SAT AUG 23 2014
...Drought Conditions Improve Regionwide...
Very dry weather conditions from winter through about mid to late May
had folks across the region fearing the worst, that the off-and-on
long-term drought that has plagued the region since 2011 was
reintensifying. However, those fears were thankfully squelched, as
periodic bouts of widespread thunderstorms and associated heavy
rainfall affected the region since roughly mid to late May.
Precipitation deficits that had been steadily growing since winter
have now been steadily shrinking. Unfortunately, the beneficial
rainfall came too late for much of the late spring/early summer
winter wheat harvest, especially over south-central Kansas.
Despite the widespread rainfall, moderate (D1) long-term drought
conditions do still persist across much of the region, mainly due
to a much drier than normal July over mainly portions of central and
eastern Kansas. Slightly more severe (D2) long-term drought persists
over portions of southeast and western Kansas, due to continued
long-term precipitation deficits. This is likely manifested primarily
in continued below normal levels of ground water and deep soil
moisture, since reservoir levels are near normal over the eastern
half of Kansas.
.Drought Intensity Definitions...
There are five levels of intensity depicted on the U.S. Drought
Monitor (USDM). The USDM levels are the following:
D0 - Abnormally dry, going into drought - causes short-term dryness
slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures and above average fire
risk. Coming out of drought - there are some lingering water
deficits, pastures and crops are not fully recovered.
D1 - Moderate drought, some damage to crops or pastures, high fire
risk exists, streams, reservoirs or wells are low, some water
shortages develop or are imminent and voluntary use restrictions are
D2 - Severe drought, crop or pasture losses are likely, fire risk is
very high, water shortages are common, water restrictions may be
D3 - Extreme drought, major crop and pasture losses, fire danger is
extreme and widespread water shortages and restrictions are possible.
D4 - Exceptional drought, exceptional and widespread crop and pasture
losses, exceptional fire danger exists, shortages of water in
reservoirs, streams, and wells occur creating water emergencies.
.Local Area Affected...
As of August 19th, most of Kansas was in moderate (D1) drought.
However, portions of southeast and western Kansas were in severe
(D2) drought, with small pockets of extreme (D3) drought over far
The following table displays the monthly precipitation departures
from normal since May 2013.
Wichita Salina Chanute
Month Departure Departure Departure
May +0.85 +2.27 +0.74
Jun -3.37 -1.87 -1.91
Jul +4.37 +1.47 +4.66
Aug +6.92 +1.05 +0.22
Sep -1.11 -1.07 -0.65
Oct +0.27 -1.08 +3.46
Nov -0.83 -0.90 -0.67
Dec -0.60 +0.28 -1.59
Jan -0.70 -0.14 -1.15
Feb -0.32 +0.15 -1.04
Mar -2.20 -2.09 -2.07
Apr -2.06 -1.72 -2.40
May -0.51 -0.80 -0.28
Jun +5.26 +4.08 +2.02
Jul -0.25 -3.56 -2.76
Aug (Thru 22nd) -0.48 -0.73 -1.29
.Soil Moisture Conditions...
Soil moisture depth ranges from 12 to 15 inches across the eastern
half of Kansas as of August 22nd, which is about 1 to 3 inches below
.River, Streamflow and Reservoir Conditions...
Most rivers and streams across central, south-central and southeast
Kansas are running near to below normal, with a handful well below
normal. This is likely due to the very dry July over portions of the
region. Most reservoirs are 90 to 100 percent full, although Wilson
Lake Reservoir in Russell county is 67 to 77 percent full.
.Questions or Comments...
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
Eric Schminke and Andy Kleinsasser
Drought Focal Points
National Weather Service
2142 South Tyler Rd
Wichita, KS 67209
firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
.Related Web Sites...
U.S. Drought Monitor http://drought.unl.edu/dm
Kansas Water Office http://www.kwo.org
U.S. Geological Survey http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/
Climate Prediction Center http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/index.html
National Weather Service http://www.drought.gov
NWS Wichita Drought Page http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ict/?n=drought
High Plains Climate Center http://www.hprcc.unl.edu
U.S. Dept of Agriculture http://www.usda.gov
All web sites should be in lower case characters.
The U.S. drought monitor is a weekly collaborative effort between a
number of federal agencies including NOAA/NWS, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, state and regional center climatologists and the
National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement
has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites, the USGS and
the Kansas Water Office.
The next issuance of this drought information statement will likely
be issued sometime mid to late September.