Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drought -- the story continues

It has been a major topic of discussion recently and for good reason. Much of the country is experiencing drought, and conditions are deteriorating fast with such a lack of moisture. I think the conditions are magnified this year in Kansas because we had so much hot and dry weather in 2011 that having another unusually dry summer is just discouraging. I'm posting a drought comparison from last year at the end of July to this year. It is striking to see how much of the United States is covered in orange and red, indicating severe to extreme drought conditions. It is very common this time of year to see thunderstorms develop on the higher terrain of Colorado and Nebraska, and then roll southeast through Kansas. We just haven't had that at all this summer.

I know we haven't seen the last of the 100 degree temperatures, but I definitely think the lengthy stretches (10-12 days in a row) are coming to a close. I don't think August is going to bring record rains, but I think there is some reason to hope we'll get more moisture in August than what we had in July. We are seeing some signs of a change already, but August will have some hot days to be sure. What we hope will be even better news is that if the El Nino phenomenon sets up for the winter months, that should lead to some possible wetter days into the winter months. I'm not making a prediction for winter yet, but if El Nino does come back, we should end up with better chances for moisture. Stay tuned.

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