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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, March 2017: Beneficial end to the month

Much of March was warm and dry in Kansas. The statewide average temperature was 47.7 degrees F, which was 4.4 degrees warmer than normal. That places this March as the 17th warmest since 1895. The warmest temperatures were recorded on the 20th of the month. On that day Coldwater, Comanche County, set the warmest reading for the month at 99 degrees F., while many locations had readings in the 90s. There were 134 new daily record maximum temperatures this month and 66 occurred on the 20th. Of those new records, 14 set new daily record maximums for March. Overall, the Southwest Division showed the greatest departure from normal with an average of 49.2 degrees F, and a departure from normal of 5.2 degrees. The Northeast Division, which averaged 46.0 degrees F, was the closest to normal and was still 3.4 degrees warmer. Not surprisingly, there were no record cold minimum temperatures.  However, despite the warmth there were 9 new record low maximum temperatures across the state. The lowest temperature reported was 9 degrees F at Wallace, Wallace County, on the 2nd. There were 70 record warm minimum temperatures reported during March.

The warmer-than-normal temperatures were accompanied by much drier-than-usual conditions, until the last week of the month. The last seven days pushed many locations above normal in precipitation for March. The statewide average precipitation was 2.28 inches, or 141 percent of normal. This ranks as the 14th wettest March since 1895. All divisions were above normal for the month. The Northwest Division was the driest with an average of 1.41 inches, which was 107 percent of normal. The Southwest Division had the greatest percent of normal, with an average of 3.30 inches or 244 percent of normal. The greatest 24-hour precipitation total for a National Weather Service (NWS) station was 3.07 inches at Peck 2S, Sumner County on the 29th. The greatest 24-hour precipitation total for a Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) station was 5.71 inches at El Dorado 7.9 NNW, Butler County, also on the 29th. The stations with the greatest monthly totals: 6.46 inches at Tallgrass National Prairie Park, Chase County (NWS); 7.21 inches at Hutchinson 3.6 NE, Reno County (CoCoRaHS). While snow wasn’t a huge factor, there were still some snow events during the month. The greatest snowfall total for March at a National Weather Service station was 3.6 inches at Hoyt 2S, Jackson County. The greatest snowfall total for the month at a CoCoRaHS station was 2.1 inches at McFarland 0.1 SE, Wabaunsee County.

 

The month was more active in terms of severe weather events. There were 10 reports of tornadoes, 56 hail, and 67 high wind events. The most damaging feature was wildfires, with more than 500,000 acres burned in Clark County alone.

Higher-than-normal precipitation resulted in improving conditions in the U.S. Drought Monitor. The biggest improvement was in the southwest, where extreme drought was removed entirely. Unfortunately, the updated April outlook is neutral, and continued normal rainfall is critical to sustain this improvement.

 

Table 1

March 2017

Kansas Climate Division Summary

 

Precipitation (inches)

Temperature (oF)

 

March 2017

2017 Jan. through March

 

 

Monthly Extremes

Division

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Total

Dep. 1

% Normal

Ave

Dep. 1

Max

Min

Northwest

1.41

0.10

107

2.30

0.00

99

44.4

4.2

91

12

West Central

2.30

0.90

163

3.19

0.69

127

46.2

4.6

94

11

Southwest

3.30

1.94

244

5.08

2.70

212

49.4

5.2

96

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Central

2.43

0.41

118

3.83

0.36

108

45.9

3.7

92

15

Central

3.18

0.93

140

4.86

0.91

121

48.1

4.4

93

17

South Central

3.30

0.67

127

6.77

2.15

147

49.8

4.3

94

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

2.91

0.63

128

4.24

0.03

103

46.0

3.4

90

17

East Central

2.95

0.30

111

4.39

-0.53

89

48.5

4.7

90

18

Southeast

3.10

0.08

105

5.79

-0.21

99

50.7

4.9

90

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE

2.82

0.70

141

4.65

0.80

127

47.7

4.4

99

9

 

                 

 

1. Departure from 1981-2010 normal value

2. State Highest temperature:  99 oF at Coldwater, Comanche County, on the 20th.

3. State Lowest temperature: 9 oF at Wallace, Wallace County, on the 2nd.

4. Greatest 24hr:  3.07 inches at Peck 2S, Sumner County on the 29th (NWS); 5.71 inches at El Dorado 7.9 NNW, Butler County, on the 29th (CoCoRaHS).

Source: KSU Weather Data Library

 

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library
mknapp@ksu.edu