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Recent Heavy Rains Won't Eliminate KS Drought

KS DroughtA map showing dry conditions covering essentially all of Kansas. (Source: U.S. Drought Monitor)Despite recent heavy rains across the state of Kansas, officials say the precipitation is likely not enough to end the drought. Assistant State Climatologist Mary Knapp says Kansas has seen almost double what would be a normal amount of rain for the first part of June. But she says the rains won’t be enough to bring conditions back to normal, as the first five months of the year were very dry. 

Knapp expects to see improvements across the state when an updated map of drought conditions is released later this week.



Some areas of Kansas have seen four or more inches of rain in recent days, but that won’t be enough to eliminate drought conditions in the state.  As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, rain in the coming weeks will play a critical role in determining whether the drought stays or goes.


Assistant State Climatologist Mary Knapp says the heavy rain this month is helping. Farm ponds and other surface water bodies are being refilled. And when a new map of drought conditions is issued later this week, she expects improvements across the state. Knapp says Kansas has seen nearly double the amount of rain that’s normal for the first part of June. But right now is critical, as June and July are the wettest months in many parts of Kansas.

“Having normal to above normal moisture at this time of the year will allow for more rapid improvement. Conversely, if the rains shut off, every day that it doesn’t rain in June can dig that hole much more quickly,” says Knapp.

Knapp says the heavy rains so far this month won’t make a big impact on the drought because the first five months or the year were so dry


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