Recent rains limit spread of extreme drought, but area still well behind on rainfall

Just how much rain will it take to end our current drought?

If you're thinking short-term, as in this year, information from the National Weather Service shows four to eight inches of rainfall areawide. If you're thinking about the entire three-year drought, it's over 20 inches.


National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Poage says one rainfall deficit indicator cuts off at 20 inches, and the area is "off the scale" for how much rain is needed to make up the three-year deficit. He says the climate trends heading into summer aren't entirely certain, at least for Kansas.

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The KVOE listening area still has a significant rain deficit for the year so far even with anywhere from one to four-plus inches of rain the last three weeks.

Much of the area remains in extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, although the coverage area isn't quite as broad as it was with the May 8 update. Extreme drought still covers most of Lyon County as well as much of Chase and Osage counties and smaller parts of northwest Coffey and Greenwood counties. The rest of the area is in moderate or severe drought.

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