Our yards can attest to this, but July fell short in measured rainfall here in Kansas. Numerous high-pressure patterns allowed us to lock into dry and hot stretches of weather. As far as rainfall amounts go, Wichita only measured 1.15″ of rain in July. Much of that came from isolated downpours. Keep in mind, the historical rainfall average is 3.98″ for July in Wichita. That means we saw a monthly deficit of 2.83″. Numerous other cities across Kansas reported large July rainfall deficits as well, including Dodge City, Goodland and Salina.
Due to more thunderstorm activity across far southwest Kansas last month, the deficit was not as great. A few Kansas counties such as Stanton, Grant, Morton and Stevens had above-average rainfall. The blue and green shades on the map below indicate above-average rainfall over the last 30 days through Friday, August 6. This was few and far between. The red and orange indicate below-average rainfall. As you can see, most of the state falls in the below-average category. Think of normal rainfall as a baseline of 100% with regards to this graphic below. That means if an area only received 13% out of 100% of normal rainfall, it is severely lacking. If an area has close to 200% of normal rainfall, that means it has almost doubled its normal rainfall.
Over the last 30 days, some areas have even seen two to three inches below what they should normally see over that time frame. On top of drought, this can lead to elevated fire conditions down the road.
The latest Drought Monitor indicates northwest Kansas was hit the hardest recently and has areas of moderate drought. Central and south central Kansas were also hit, with many of the counties sitting in the abnormally dry category.
With yards drying up across the state, attention turns to our next chances for rain. Our extended outlook is favoring near average or slightly dry conditions as we head into the heart of August. This means we are not seeing any major signs that extreme dryness or abundant rainfall will occur.
–Meteorologist Warren Sears