The Ag-Climate Update is a joint effort between our climate and extension specialists. Every month the update includes a brief summary of that month, agronomic impacts, relevant maps and graphs, 1-month temperature and precipitation outlooks, monthly extremes, and notable highlights.
April 2020: Dry and cool, but a difficulty month due to COVID-19
April was cool and dry (Figure 1). It ranked as the 18th driest April and the 36th coolest. Statewide, 34 new daily record highs were recorded. There were also 38 record daily low minimum temperatures. Statewide precipitation averaged much below normal, with only the eastern divisions above 70 percent of normal. The Northeast averaged 2.62 inches; 80% of normal.
Figure 1. Departures from normal temperature (°F) and precipitation (inches).
Severe weather was limited. There were no reports of tornadoes, and 29 reports of hail and 12 reports of damaging wind. There were several swaths of hail in western, central, and northeast KS. One storm event in NE KS wiped out fences and caused flooding. Despite the cold temperatures, snowfall was limited. Greatest snowfall totals included: 2.2 inches at Frankfort 6NE, Marshall County (NWS); 2.0 inches at Baileyville 1.0 S, Nemaha County (CoCoRaHS).
The CoVID-19 quarantines also had an impact. Stay-at-home rules reduced travel and C02 emissions, but made field scouting and other agricultural activities difficult. The lack of trade caused a steep drop in commodity prices along with difficulty moving product to market.
View the entire March Ag-Climate Summary, including the accompanying maps and graphics (not shown in this summary), at http://climate.k-state.edu/ag/updates/.