Kansas Department of Agriculture – Drought Area Contracts and Intensifies

Drought Area Contracts and Intensifies

As of July 12, the  U.S. Drought Monitor shows continued intensification of drought conditions in much of Kansas.  Portions of 11 counties in southwest and south-central Kansas comprising nine percent of the state’s area are rated in exceptional drought, the highest drought intensity.  Eight percent of the state is experiencing extreme drought.  Another 17 percent of Kansas is experiencing severe drought.  Another 14 percent of the state is designated as in moderate drought and 18 percent is abnormally dry.  Thirty-four percent of Kansas, along the northern third of the state, is deemed to have normal moisture at this time.
Kansas detail of the US Drought Monitor for July 12, 2011.Percent of drought area for Kansas as of July 12, 2011.According to Drought Monitor The following link will open in a new browser tab or window.records, this appears to be the worst drought affecting Kansas since at least 2002.  As noted in the July 13 edition of DWR Currents, National Weather Service records show that in the Dodge City area the lack of precipitation in 2011 is second only to the dry year of 1893.

According  to  the  Climate  Prediction  Center’s  latest  updatePDF, the La Niña conditions have ended as Pacific Ocean surface temperatures have returned to normal.  This might bring about gradually improved moisture conditions across the central plains in the coming months.

However, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center The following link will open in a new browser tab or window.outlook forecasts below normal precipitation chances across southern Kansas next week (July 24-28).

For more information about the drought, including options for flexible water use to cope with the dry, hot conditions, see our2011 Drought Options website.

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