Lack of rain hurting parts of the Plains

Regina Bird

April brought much needed rain to parts of the Plains, but it came paired with severe storms in some instances.

April tends to be a windy month across the Plains, and strong winds not associated with storms early in April left its mark on topsoil in parts of Kansas as it left it drier. 

Southwest Kansas needing rain

A couple of locations in Kansas are really hurting for precipitation as Dodge City and Garden City are falling well short of their normal totals so far in spring. From March 1 until April 20, Dodge City noted only 0.27 inches of precipitation, which is 11% of normal during that time frame. Garden City accumulated even less precipitation during that time with 0.17 inches, which is 8% of what they would typically see. 

Parts of Texas experienced the opposite on April 20 with heavy rain measuring over 2 inches in College Station, Dallas-Fort Worth and Longview.

Record warm felt

Record warmth was noted in the middle part of the month in Oklahoma and Kansas. Gage and Hobart, Oklahoma, and farther north in Wichita and Concordia, Kansas, with new record highs on April 14 as temperatures soared into the 90s for all of those locations. This happened before a cold front pushed through and that strong cold front led to a high of only 35 degrees Fahrenheit later on April 20 in Goodland, Kansas 

In the world view, a transition from El Nina to ENSO-Neutral is still expected sometime this spring, then a change to LaNina at some point this summer. 

Moisture possibilities

Eastern and central areas of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma along with eastern Texas are forecast to see above average precipitation during the month of May. May is also expected to bring above average temperatures for Texas, Oklahoma and southwest Kansas. 

Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and southern Nebraska will likely see temperatures climb to above seasonal norms during the three-month period of May through July. 

During that same time, below average precipitation is forecast for western Texas. 

While drought improvement is expected for much of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska along with central Texas, that will likely not be the case for western Texas where drought conditions are likely to remain. 

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She worked as a television meteorologist for nine years in Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX