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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

February Kansas weather summary: Much colder than average

As with January, February had snowy weather both to begin and end the month. Overall, temperatures were much colder than average in the state. The preliminary statewide average temperature was 7.4 degrees cooler than average, and 2 degrees cooler than the January average temperature. That places it as the 13th coolest February of the past120 years. Coupled with the cooler-than-average temperatures in December and January, it makes this winter season the 14th coldest on record. The coldest reading in February was -16 degrees at Atwood and St. Francis on the 6th. The warmest reading was 80 degrees at Richfield  in Morton County on the 16th. All divisions saw lows below zero. 

While February was wetter than January, preliminary statewide the average precipitation was only 0.69 inches, which was 72% of normal. This makes it the 42nd driest February since 1895, or in the lower part of the distribution. The long-term average precipitation in February is 0.94 inches. All divisions averaged below the 1981-2010 normal in February, with the exception of the Northeastern Division. The Northeast averaged 1.24 inches, which was 0.12 inches above normal or 111% of normal. The Southeastern Division fared the worst, when compared to normals. The Southeastern Division averaged 0.51 inches, which was 30 percent of normal.  

          

Drought conditions persist across the state. There was some slight improvement during February in the Northeastern Division, but moderate drought expanded in the South Central and Southeastern divisions. Almost 8 percent of the state was in extreme drought at the end of February, similar to the ending value in January. The latest Drought Monitor shows that extreme drought now covers 7.74 percent of the state, with just 4.14 percent of the state near normal. The latest Drought Outlook indicates drought conditions are expected to continue through May, although there might be some improvement in the Northwest and West Central areas of the state.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to remain neutral through the Spring. That means the signal for increased Spring precipitation will also be weaker. The jet stream is expected to shift northward. For March chances are equally likely for precipitation to be above or below normal statewide. The temperature outlook calls for below normal temperatures across the Northeast, with equal chances for above or below normal temperatures across the remainder of the state. This does not indicate how much cooler conditions might be, and does not exclude the possibility of warm weather in the period. 

            

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2014

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

Feb. 2014

Jan. through Feb. 2014

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

0.41

-0.13

73

0.68

-0.31

68

24.4

-7.2

70

-16

West Central

0.50

-0.09

79

0.72

-0.38

62

27.2

-5.9

75

-10

Southwest

0.30

-0.25

50

0.43

-0.59

40

29.6

-5.9

80

-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

0.74

-0.08

87

0.95

-0.50

63

24.8

-7.3

75

-11

Central

0.92

-0.09

90

1.15

-0.55

66

26.0

-8.1

75

-10

South Central

0.82

-0.34

74

0.95

-1.04

50

29.2

-7.3

76

-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

1.24

0.12

111

1.46

-0.46

76

22.7

-9.6

71

-12

East Central

1.01

-0.32

79

1.19

-1.09

54

25.8

-7.9

70

-6

Southeast

0.51

-1.21

31

0.70

-2.27

24

29.0

-7.5

73

-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

0.69

-0.30

72

0.88

-0.85

53

26.5

-7.4

80

-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

Source: KSU Weather Data Library

 

Mary Knapp, Agronomy, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu