Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Recent rain helps ease concerns of drought

June 21, 2000

When it finally rained, it poured.

And now the Tonganoxie area, parched since last July, is finally beginning to catch up on rainfall.

Last week, according to Mary Knapp, state climatologist, Tonganoxie received a total of 4.19 inches of rainfall. And Tuesday morning, according to Joe Hicks, manager of McGraw Fertilizer, the area received 4.3 inches.

The recent rains have dampened Tonganoxie more than some other drought-stricken areas in northeast Kansas, said Knapp.

The added moisture helped, but more rainfall is needed.

"If you go back to July of last year when the rains really stopped in the northeast part of the state, you'll see that some of the areas had rainfall deficits of 17 to 20 inches through May," Knapp said. "This rain will help quite a lot, but one of the problems is that a lot of this rain has fallen on the down-end of the stream and is not replenishing the streamflows on the upper edges of the Delaware and the Republican rivers."

Because of that, streamflows in this area may be slower to rise than expected.

Knapp noted that Tonganoxie received more rainfall Tuesday than nearby areas.

"Other places in the area did get rainfall, although not in the degree that Tonganoxie got," Knapp said.

For instance, she said that Topeka's reports ranged from 1.26 to 2.21 inches; Manhattan's gauges showed rainfall of from 2.57 to 2.95 inches; Lawrence, 1.43 inches; Olathe, 0.21 of an inch; Holton, 1.8 inches and Ottawa, 0.08 of an inch.

State rainfall statistics show that Tonganoxie received only 0.08 of an inch of rainfall in April, compared to an average of 3.27 for the month. And May, too, was down, with 3.05 inches, compared to an average of 4.77 inches, Knapp said.

Hicks said the recent rains have given a boost to subsoil moisture.

"We're starting to get some back right now," he said. "We'll probably be good for the next 30 days."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.