New Drought Monitor Map Not Encouraging

Kansas Viewpoint

Good news is, area of "excpetional" drought is less; bad news is area of drought spreads dramatically

Published on: November 16, 2011
Less of Kansas is in exceptional drought this week than last. That is the good news, thanks probably to the widespread rains that moved across the area about a week ago.

But the bad news is still with us. The area of Kansas that is some kind of drought, abnormally dry to exceptional drought, is up. All but six counties now have some area in a drought designation.

For south-central Kansas, where heavy rains a week ago were highly welcomed, the exceptional drought has backed off, leaving us just in extreme drought. I guess that's good.

Wichita had a cold front today -- blustery north winds and some spitting snow. And I do mean spitting. The total moisture accumulation for the county wouldn't fill a teaspoon.

I bring this up because in our typical weather pattern, this would have been two or three inches of heavy, wet, fast-melting snow, or maybe a half-inch of rain with a little slush mixed in.

The scary dry weather pattern persists. And that includes a forecast for a warm, windy weekend -- highs  in the upper 60s and low 70s, winds in the 20-mph range.

Next week, temperatures are forecast to drop dramatically, to days with highs barely above freezing. But those colder temperatures come with dry cold fronts and virtually no rain.

We're grateful for what we have received so far. But boy do we need more rain.