See how much of Kansas is experiencing drought conditions

Weather Stories
corn, heat and dry conditions_415292

(STACKER) — Nearly one-third of Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer, giving them first-hand experience into a future of extreme hurricanes, wildfires, storms, and floods caused by global climate change. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA show rapid warming in the 21st century, with the past decade being the hottest on record. According to The Washington Post, the cost of responding to these weather disasters is more than $81 billion per year.

Among those disasters were several significant, costly, and deadly droughts. Droughts are among the most destructive forces in nature—only hurricanes are more economically damaging to the United States. Destroyed crops ripple through the economy, with animal feed prices increasing, which can indirectly raise the price of meats and animal products like milk and cheese. The annual losses due to drought are near $9 billion per year. Droughts also contribute to wildfires, increasing the likelihood of ignition and making them more extreme when they do happen.

Stacker ranked each state and Washington D.C., based on the average percentage of the state land that experienced drought conditions in the 20-year period from 2000 to March 2021, using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM). The USDM categories drought conditions using a five-point scale ranging from “abnormally dry,” indicating some short-term crop dryness or a lingering water deficit, to “exceptional drought,” a serious condition involving a water emergency that leads to widespread crop/pasture losses.

Kansas by the numbers

– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 40,193 sq. mi. (48.8% of land area); 1,181,016 people (41.4% of population)
— Moderate drought: 24,027 sq. mi. (29.2% of land area); 627,180 people (22.0% of population)
— Severe drought: 13,138 sq. mi. (16.0% of land area); 298,137 people (10.4% of population)
— Extreme drought: 5,790 sq. mi. (7.0% of land area); 123,717 people (4.3% of population)
— Exceptional drought: 1,741 sq. mi. (2.1% of land area); 23,720 people (0.8% of population)

Just under half (45.1%) of Kansas is abnormally dry, with moderate to extreme drought conditions in parts of the state ramping up fire danger and creating headaches for farmers. In the summer of 2020, the governor of Kansas declared drought emergencies, watches, and warnings for 74 out of the state’s 105 counties. In addition, the worst-hit counties were allowed to request emergency water from state fishing lakes.

The entire national list, including descriptions of the conditions that led to or prevented drought in each state and the events leading up to the state’s change in drought status, can be found here. Continue reading to learn which states experience the worst droughts.

Most drought-ridden states

#1. Arizona
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 87,702 sq. mi. (76.9% of land area); 4,867,057 people (76.1% of population)
#2. Nevada
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 78,717 sq. mi. (71.2% of land area); 1,942,485 people (71.9% of population)
#3. New Mexico
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 84,806 sq. mi. (69.8% of land area); 1,455,107 people (70.7% of population)

Least drought-ridden states

#1. Ohio
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 6,631 sq. mi. (16.1% of land area); 1,815,050 people (15.7% of population)
#2. Alaska
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 95,420 sq. mi. (16.4% of land area); 159,582 people (23.2% of population)
#3. New York
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 8,721 sq. mi. (18.0% of land area); 4,174,482 people (21.5% of population)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the KSN News App and stay up-to-date wherever you are. You can even watch KSN News live for free!
Click here to get the app
Get it in the App store
Get it in the Google Play store

KSN Storm Track 3 Weather

Trending Stories