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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

December weather summary for Kansas: A cold end to the year

December marked a shift in the warm pattern that dominated much of the fall in Kansas. The statewide average temperature was 29.0 degrees F, or -2.3 degrees colder than normal. This was the 25th coldest since 1896. The Southeast Division was closest to normal for the month. Its average temperature was 33.4 degrees F, or -0.4 degrees colder than normal. The greatest departure was in the West Central Division where the average temperature was 26.7 degrees F, or -3.7 degrees colder than normal. Even with the cold, there were 28 new daily record high temperatures set in the month, although none of those set monthly records. There were also 12 new daily record high minimum temperatures set. On the cold side, there were17 new record daily low maximum temperatures and 93 new record daily low minimum temperatures reported. Of those record low minimum temperatures, 11 set new record lows for December. The coldest minimum temperature reported was -24 degrees F reported at Oakley 19 SSW, Logan County, on the 20th. The highest temperature reported was 74 degrees F reported at Elkhart, Morton County, on the 17th.

Statewide average rainfall for December continued the trend of the dry fall and was well below normal. The statewide average was 0.56 inches, or 57 percent of normal. The Northwest Division fared the worst with an average of 0.18 inches, or 34 percent of normal. The North Central Division came closest to normal with an average of 0.70 inches, or 82 percent of normal. This December ranks as the 50th driest in the 122 years of record. The wettest December on record occurred in 1913, when the statewide average total was 3.15 inches. The driest December occurred in 1976 when the statewide average was 0.05 inches. Despite the dry pattern, there were 43 new record daily precipitation totals. The greatest 24-hour total recorded at a CoCoRaHS station was 0.94 inches at St. Francis 8.6 NNE, Cheyenne County, on the 26th. The greatest 24-hour report for a National Weather Service station was 1.15 inches at Eskridge, Wabaunsee County, on the 25th. The greatest monthly totals: 1.88 inches at Lawrence, Douglas County (NWS) and 1.58 inches at Olathe 3.3 ENE, Johnson County (CoCoRaHS).

 

 

The cold air mass of the 18th through the 20th was displaced by a warm front. The clashing systems triggered a rare Christmas tornado outbreak in southwest Kansas. Brief touchdowns were reported in Ford, Kiowa, and Rush counties. There were reports of damage to a cattle building and a horse shed in Kiowa County, but no reports of deaths or injuries. In addition to the tornadoes, there were 11 reports of wind damage during the month.

The lack of precipitation has taken its toll, and abnormal dry conditions expanded during the month. As we move into the drier part of the year, even above-normal precipitation is not likely to result in significant improvement. By the same token, the rate of deterioration is likely to slow, especially in the western half of the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 2016

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

Dec 2016

2016 Jan through Dec

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

0.18

-0.37

34

19.73

-1.63

92

26.0

-2.9

72

-21

West Central

0.32

-0.29

54

19.12

-1.65

91

26.7

-3.7

71

-20

Southwest

0.37

-0.28

57

20.50

0.60

102

29.4

-3.2

74

-21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

0.70

-0.15

82

31.25

3.24

111

27.9

-1.3

66

-18

Central

0.72

-0.17

78

31.44

2.15

107

29.1

-2.1

68

-16

South Central

0.64

-0.43

59

35.31

3.99

111

30.6

-2.5

67

-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

0.70

-0.47

61

35.53

0.53

101

28.1

-1.5

66

-12

East Central

0.72

-0.62

54

36.03

-1.89

94

30.1

-1.3

69

-11

Southeast

0.68

-1.07

40

42.94

1.45

104

33.4

-0.4

71

-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

0.56

-0.43

57

30.31

0.93

102

29.0

-2.1

74

-21

 

                 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

2. State Highest temperature: 74 oF at Elkhart, Morton County, on the 17th.

3. State Lowest temperature: -24 oF at Oakley 19SSW, Logan County, on the 20th.

4. Greatest 24hr:  1.15 inches at Eskridge, Wabaunsee County, on the 25th (NWS); 0.94 inches at St. Francis 8.6 NNE, Cheyenne County, on the 26th (CoCoRaHS).

Source: KSU Weather Data Library

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu