Weather Alert

2018 a year for the books in weather, says K-State climatologist

A number of significant weather events occurred in Kansas last year. Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp says one of the unusual things about 2018 was the fact that typically dry areas were wetter than normal and traditionally wet areas were drier than normal.

“The southwest won the sweepstakes for the wettest departure from normal,” said Knapp. “They averaged 26.4 inches, which is 132 percent of normal, and is 6 and a half inches more than they would normally see in a year.”

On the dry side, Knapp says east-central Kansas fell well short of its normal precipitation for the year.

East-central averaged 32.34 inches and their deficit was just over 5 and a half inches and they were at 84 percent of normal,” Knapp said. “Overall, the state averaged 32.17 inches –112 percent of normal –and that will rank as the 21st wettest year from 1894 to the present.”

On the temperature side, it was cooler than normal statewide. However, Knapp says it was only by two-tenths of a degree.

“We did have a roller coaster of temperature patterns. We had our coolest April of record, followed by our second-warmest May of record, so we went from very, very cold to very, very warm which created a lot of difficulty with our vegetative growth with our crops.”

April set a new record as the coldest since 1895 with a statewide average temperature of 46.7 degrees. May ranked as the second warmest on record with a statewide average temperature of 70.6 degrees. October ended up being the second wettest on record with a statewide average that month of 5.88 inches. That’s 259 percent above normal.


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