KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: Drought assistance expected, a look back at historic late September heavy rains

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It has been bone dry through most of September across the Sunflower State. You have to go back to the September 3-4 timeframe to find any decent amount of rainfall. Wichita and Salina both measured more than an inch whereas locations farther west were drier.

The last time Dodge City saw more than an inch of rainfall was on July 14! It has been even longer for Goodland – May 17 – when the city picked up 1.34″ of rain!

We do have a series of systems coming through this week that will give us the best chance for moisture we have seen in weeks.

We will take any moisture we can get as the drought continues to get worse especially after our most recent hot spell and gusty winds from the last week.

What is interesting is that record rainfall the last week of September is not uncommon for Kansas. In 1999, storms parked over Wichita. The rain started September 26 and lasted a good 24 hours. Records for rainfall were broken for this period. At this time, we saw 3.85″ fall within one hour! In addition, 4.89″ fell in two hours with 5.63″ in three hours! A total of 7.93″ was measured at the airport within a 24 hour period! This was the third-highest rainfall on record. Overall, the two-day rain event produced 8.02″.

Going back further to 1997, thunderstorms across southern Kansas into Oklahoma helped to produce more than 10″ of rain in spots! If the right ingredients come together with plenty of moisture streaming our way, this is certainly possible.

As for this week, we have been watching a slow-moving system coming up from the southwest. This combined with a cold front from the west tracking at a snail’s pace which will eventually stall, will be a good recipe for decent rainfall that we will welcome as we close September and begin October!

While not drought-busting rains, it will certainly give us some help!

–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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