Western Kansas Sees Improvement, But Drought Snaking Through East

Extreme drought conditions lessened in the past week in western Kansas, with the state’s lone patch of exceptional drought going away. However, parts of eastern Kansas continue to witness the development of moderate drought.

USDA’s weekly Drought Monitor indicates that extreme drought conditions shrank in the past week, now covering just a majority of Morton and Hamilton counties, along with western Stanton and southwestern Greeley counties. Just 2.6 percent of Kansas is in this stage of drought. Areas of Kearny, Grant and Stevens counties that were in extreme or exceptional drought improved to severe. However, areas that were classified in severe drought remained in that stage, and significant portions of Clark and Meade counties fell into severe drought from moderate.

Moderate drought conditions also expanded in the past week, returning to southern Harper and Sumner counties, plus southwestern Cowley County. The first stage of drought has also developed in a line that meanders from Linn County west through southern Anderson and northern Allen into Woodson and southern Coffey counties, then northwest into parts of Greenwood County and a majority of Chase County. Eastern Marion and the neighboring corners of Dickinson and Morris counties are also impacted. Abnormally dry conditions also spread further last week, entering Franklin, Osage, Wabaunsee, and western Shawnee counties. 35 percent of Kansas is in some stage of drought, and another 33 percent is in abnormal dryness.