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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, April 2017: Epic blizzard

While much of April was warmer than normal in Kansas, the last week of the month brought a return to cold, wintery weather in the western third of the state, and cold rainy weather in the east. Thirteen stations recorded record amounts of snow for a three-day spring storm ending on the 1st of May. Tribune 1W, in Greeley County, reported 22 inches of snow in the event, with part of that total reported on the 1st of May. There were widespread reports of more than a foot of snow. This was complicated by strong winds, with averages over 30 mph for more than six hours, and peak winds in excess of 55 miles per hour. The storm also included cold temperatures with lows below the freezing mark each of the three days of the storm, with some locations reporting more than 48 hours of below-freezing temperatures. This has the potential for heavy losses in winter wheat that was in the heading/flowering stages. Damage from the event is still being collected, but included downed power lines/power poles, tree damage, livestock deaths and damage to winter wheat. Losses in the winter wheat may not be evident for another week to ten days.  

 

Despite the cold end, April was warmer than normal statewide. The greatest departure was in the East Central Division, with an average of 56.2 oF or 2.2 degrees warmer than normal. The South Central Division was closest to normal with an average of 55.9 degrees F or 0.7 degrees warmer than normal. The highest temperature reported during the month was 92 oF at the Garden City Experiment Station, Finney County, on the 20th. The coldest temperature reported was 20 oF at Council Grove Lake, Morris County on the 7th and again at Hays 1S, Ellis County, on the 30th. There were four record high maximum temperatures during the month and 28 record high minimum temperatures during the month. On the cold side, there were 29 new record cold maximum temperature in April and 5 new record low minimum temperatures. Freezing temperatures were reported in all nine climate divisions, with the coldest low temperatures in the North Central and Central Divisions, reaching the mid to low twenties on the 27th of April.



The statewide average precipitation was 4.86 inches, or 145 percent of normal. This ranks as the 6h wettest April since 1895. Only the Northwest Division was below normal for the month, as part of the storm total was recoded on the 1st of May. The Southwest Division had the greatest percent of normal, with an average of 4.47 inches or 292 percent of normal. The greatest 24-hour precipitation total for a National Weather Service (NWS) station was 34.18 inches at Pittsburg, Crawford County, on the 30th. The greatest 24-hour precipitation total for a Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) station was 5.10 inches at Fort Scott 9.3 NNE, Bourbon County, also on the 30th. The stations with the greatest monthly totals: 13.00 inches at Pittsburg, Crawford County (NWS); 14.09 inches at Farlington 0.8 NNE, Crawford County (CoCoRaHS). The greatest snowfall total for April at a National Weather Service station was 17 inches at Hugoton, Stevens County. The greatest snowfall total for the month at a CoCoRaHS station was 15 inches at Ulysses 3.8 ENE, Grant County.

Aside from the blizzard, the month was less active than usual as far as severe weather events.  There were 6 reports of tornadoes, 65 hail and 15 high wind events.

 

The higher-than-normal precipitation resulted in continued improvement in the drought conditions as shown in the U.S. Drought Monitor. The state in now drought-free and even abnormally dry conditions have been eliminated. The May outlook calls for a slightly increased chance of drier-than-normal conditions in the eastern part of the state, but given the wet start to the month would not indicate an immediate swing into drought.

 

 

 

 

Apr 2017

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

April 2017

2017 Jan. through April

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

1.30

-0.77

62

3.57

-0.80

80

51.5

1.7

89

25

West Central

2.94

1.03

157

5.72

1.31

129

52.5

1.6

90

26

Southwest

4.74

3.10

292

8.98

4.96

223

55.3

1.7

92

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

3.88

1.36

153

7.49

1.50

123

53.9

1.1

88

25

Central

5.27

2.61

202

9.74

3.13

148

55.3

1.3

90

20

South Central

6.03

3.33

227

12.74

5.42

176

55.9

0.7

87

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

4.70

1.45

147

8.91

1.45

121

54.7

1.2

83

27

East Central

5.01

1.45

138

9.40

0.92

110

56.3

2.2

82

20

Southeast

8.32

4.45

213

14.11

4.24

143

57.7

1.9

83

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

4.86

2.19

185

9.27

2.76

144

54.8

1.5

92

20

 

                 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

2. State Highest temperature:  92 oF at Garden City Experiment Station, Finney County, on the 20th.

3. State Lowest temperature: 20 oF at Council Grove Lake, on the 7th; Hays, on the 30th.

4. Greatest 24hr:  4.18 inches at Pittsburg, Crawford County, on the 30th (NWS); 5.10 inches at at Fort Scott 9.3 NNE, Bourbon County, on the 30th (CoCoRaHS).

Source: KSU Weather Data Library

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu