Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The recent change in the temperatures has been so nice and we don't hear many complaints in the weather office. But what hasn't changed is the drought situation across the central and southern Plains. The dry pattern has been relentless now for at least a year, and it is not likely to change any time soon. Almost all of Texas is in an exceptional drought classification, with other areas in a severe drought. The exceptional drought stretches across Oklahoma and into southern Kansas, with rainfall deficits running 5-15 inches below normal. Dodge City has had less than 5 inches of rain this year, so the need for rain is extreme.
We've had several people ask what our upcoming winter season will be like, but we don't have any idea yet. The La Nina phenomenon that helped establish this drought last fall, weakened this summer, but forecast models show it could return for a part of the winter. La Nina is the cooler-than-average water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Although it won't be as strong as it was last winter, the La Nina phenomenon is still having some influence on the weather pattern, helping to keep our area dry.
September is going to stay dry for a while and we may not be getting any moisture until the second half of the month. September (on average) is the 5th wettest month for Wichita with just over 3 inches of rain.
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