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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

Kansas weather summary for March: Dry start to spring

Winter weather was a feature both to start and end the month, but overall the month was much drier than average. The statewide average precipitation was just 0.46 inches, which was 19 percent of normal. This ranks it as the 10th driest March since 1895. The heaviest precipitation was limited in area. Snow was a significant portion of the moisture received in parts of the state. The major events occurred on the 3rd of March and on the 24-25th of March.

Temperatures continued to be colder than average. Statewide, the average temperature was 39.7 oF, which was 3.7 degrees below normal. For the first quarter of the year (Jan-Mar), temperatures have averaged just 32.4 oF which places it as the 23rd coldest start to the year in the last 120 years. 

Drought conditions persist across the state. No portion of the state was in near normal condition, and the portion of the state in abnormally dry conditions continues to shrink. Almost 8 percent of the state was in extreme drought at the end of February. By the end of March, that has climbed to over 14 percent of the state. The latest Drought Monitor shows that extreme drought now covers 14.43 percent of the state, with 50.57 percent of the state in severe drought. The latest Drought Outlook indicates drought conditions are expected to continue through June, although improvement is likely in all but the Southwestern division.

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 April, chances are equally likely for precipitation to be above or below normal statewide. The temperature outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across the northern counties, 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. 

 

 

 

March 2014

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

March 2014

Jan – March 2014

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

0.18

-1.13

13

0.87

-1.43

37

39.2

-1.0

82

-4

West Central

0.17

-1.85

8

1.12

-2.35

31

39.4

-2.2

81

-11

Southwest

0.47

-1.81

20

1.94

-2.27

45

40.9

-3.1

83

-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

0.16

-1.24

11

0.89

-1.61

34

38.0

-4.2

81

-8

Central

0.21

-2.04

9

1.37

-2.58

34

40.0

-3.7

81

-5

South Central

0.48

-2.17

18

1.67

-3.25

34

40.8

-4.7

83

-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

0.23

-1.13

18

0.66

-1.72

27

38.5

-4.0

79

-6

East Central

0.65

-1.98

24

1.60

-3.02

35

39.7

-4.1

81

-6

Southeast

1.36

-1.66

44

2.04

-3.96

33

40.6

-5.2

82

-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

0.46

-1.66

19

1.34

-2.51

33

39.7

-3.6

83

-11

 

                 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

Source: KSU Weather Data Library

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu