Kansas climate basics: Pt. 6 -- Maximum and minimum temperature records
(Editor’s note: The following article is one in a series of articles in the Agronomy eUpdate that examines the historical climate observations in Kansas. The methods used to do this analysis are explained in the introductory article in this series, from eUpdate No. 571, May 20, 2016. – Steve Watson)
Maximum temperature records in Kansas
The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) documented a Kansas record of 121degrees F observed in July 1936 in Fredonia and Alton, Kansas. Neither of those climate stations are among the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations due to the station being relocated over time. From 30 USHCN daily stations, 120 degrees F is the highest maximum temperature recorded in Kansas, in 1893 and 1954 (Fig. 1). Most of the highest maximum temperatures were observed in late 1930s. The month with the highest maximum temperatures is most often July.
Figure 1. Top panel: daily maximum temperature records (oF) and dates for 30 climate stations across Kansas over 1891 to 2015. Bottom panel: (a) histogram of years for all maximum temperature records in Kansas; and (b) histogram of months for all maximum temperature records observed in Kansas.
Minimum temperature records in Kansas
The NCEI documented a Kansas record of -40 degrees F observed in February 1905 in Lebanon. For the 30 USHCN stations selected, this record is not included because this climate station has experienced station relocation and therefore at least one discontinuity in the series. The lowest temperature record over 1891 to 2015 in our 30 USHCN stations is the -35 degrees F observed at Manhattan in February 1893. The majority of lowest minimum temperature records were observed during the period of 1890s to 1910s (Fig. 2). February is the most frequent month for lowest minimum temperature records, followed by January.
Figure 2. Top panel: daily minimum temperature records (oF) and dates from 30 climate stations across Kansas over 1891 to 2015. Bottom panel: (a) histogram of years for all minimum temperature records in Kansas; and (b) histogram of months for all minimum temperature records observed in Kansas.
Xiaomao Lin, State Climatologist, Department of Agronomy
John Harrington Jr., Department of Geography
Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library