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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Weather records set in August

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  • August 2013 will be remembered for rain and lots of it. The skies opened and stayed open for so long it looked like August would be a record breaker and it was just that.
    The south central portion of the state that includes Pratt, recorded an average 8.53 inches for the area and that is 250 percent above normal for the area.
    "That's incredible for August," said Mary Knapp, state climatologist.
    The six central and southern divisions averaged a whopping 119 percent above normal for the month of August.
    However, the rains didn't show up everywhere in the state. The three north regions just barely reached half of the average rainfall for the area ranging from 57 to 59 percent of normal, Knapp said.
    But where rain fell, it was plentiful. On the both sides of the south central region, the southeast got 7.29 inches for 196 percent above normal and the southwest got 4.29 inches for 115 percent of normal.
    Across the state, 224 locations recorded record daily high precipitation totals. Wallace County topped the list with 5.59 inches in just one day. The city with the most rain in one day was Fredonia with 6.5 inches.
    For the entire month, the big winner was Potwin with just over a foot of rain at 12.29 inches.
    While Kansas got a lot of rain this year it wasn't the wettest August on record. That belongs to 1977 when the entire state averaged 6.53 inches in August. The 2013 rainfall will rank 14th wettest on record.
    On the opposite end of the scale, the driest August in Kansas was recorded in 1913 when the entire state averaged 0.53 inches for the entire month.
    While 2011 and 2012 were drought years, it was 2000 that had the second driest August in Kansas history with just 0.61 inches for the whole month.
    Besides several precipitation records, August also set several temperature records as well. On the high side, only two locations in the state set new records for hottest temperature on a certain day while four locations tied high temperatures.
    But all that rain did bring temperatures down and 46 locations set new records for the lowest high temperatures. State wide it was the 40th coolest August on record.
    Where it fell, all this moisture had a very positive impact on agriculture. Since the rain was spread out over two weeks and not just one day, it was able to soak into the soil and help build up the subsoil moisture levels, Knapp said.
    It also helped recharge rivers and reservoirs. Cheney Reservoir went from being at a very low level to being well above its normal average level.
    The rain encouraged crop root growth so that now that the rain has stopped, the crops have a root system that can follow the moisture as it goes down.
    Page 2 of 2 - Farmers are again looking to the skies for more rain. The State Fair is starting and it usually rains sometime during State Fair week so perhaps the area will get at least some amount of precipitation like it did during the wet month of August.
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