Drought officially returns to area

The KVOE listening area has been "abnormally dry" for several months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and now moderate drought is trickling into far southwest Lyon County.

Moderate drought has been pushing north over the past few months, now covering parts of Chase and Coffey counties as well as all of Greenwood County. Abnormally dry conditions now cover the rest of the listening area, including Emporia.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Gargan says conditions have been abnormally dry since late October. He says El Nino, which cools the surface water temperatures in the central Pacific, could give us a better chance of moisture -- although it could be months before it develops.

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The Climate Prediction Center shows Kansas having equal chances of above-normal or below-normal precipitation into summer.

This the first time since August that drought officially covers part of the area. Drought reached severe and extreme levels last summer before heavy mid-summer rains cleared the area of any drought designation. Now, almost two-thirds of Kansas is in moderate drought or worse.

See what is happening with KVOE