Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The drought situation is bad here in Kansas and it gets even worse down in Oklahoma and Texas. In fact, 6 month rainfall deficits in north Texas range anywhere from 8-14 inches, with Wichita seeing nearly a 7 inch rainfall deficit.

Wildfires in Texas have been burning out of control now for several days and the smoke is quite visible from space. The attached image shows the different fires burning in the Lone Star state. We can contribute this unusually dry pattern to the La Nina that has been in place across the Equatorial Pacific since early fall 2010. The water temperatures are cooler than average and favor drier than normal conditions in the south.

Storm season has ramped up for areas to our east, with a couple different tornado outbreaks in the last few weeks. The pattern continues to be active for us in Kansas, but we have been missing the best chances for rain because Gulf moisture has been getting pushed off to the east before the storm systems get a chance to do anything with it. As much as it stinks to have to wait, that's about all we can do, waiting for La Nina to go away and the pattern to favor more spring rains in the central and southern US.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Belle Plaine Tulip time

Millie and I participated in the Belle Plaine Tulip Time Festival over the weekend and we rode in a 1950s Chevy truck. It was a little hot Saturday afternoon with temperatures near 90, so Millie did her best to stay cool. A 1950s vehicle model doesn't have AC, so we kept the windows down and the south breeze helped a little. The kids were excited to get candy and Millie was excited for a nap by the end of the day.

We are getting calls on when this pattern will break and we'll start getting better chances for moisture around the area. With the wind and warm temperatures lately, conditions are extremely dry in the west (and have been that way for quite some time) The storm systems are forming right over us and tapping Gulf moisture once they get east of our area. We can hope for this pattern to break down and change, but unfortunately, it may be several more weeks before this will happen.

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