With precipitation at 11.4 inches for at least one weather station in Pratt County, July 2018 is the wettest on record. But all records are not complete so there could be a wetter year but it just isn't recorded.
Depending on what part of the county measurements were taken, July 2018 was one of the wettest in Kansas history and possibly the wettest for Pratt County, according to Mary Knapp, state climatologist for Kansas Agriculture Statistics Service (KASS).
The highest amount of rain recorded for July 2018 in Pratt County was 11.4 inches, registered at the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network station 2.6 miles south of Pratt.
CoCoRaHS stations provide a variety of weather information. Volunteers monitor the stations and report the information to KASS.
That 11.4 inches is the highest recorded rainfall for the month of July in Pratt County but that doesn’t necessarily make it a historic record.
Determining if July 2018 was a record setter isn’t as easy as it might seem. The station that recorded 11.4 inches has only been in place since 2006 so there could have been a July before that with more rain. There are several CoCoRaHS stations in the county and each has a different total so finding the highest total for July isn’t an exact science. One thing is for sure though, July 2018 is definitely among the wettest.
“We don’t have records to confirm it but it’s certainly going to be in the top wettest Julys,” Knapp said.
The next highest rainfall total for July happened in 1928 when 8.32 inches fell in Pratt County. While 11.4 inches is a lot of rain, there were other rainfall periods over 31 days that were even bigger. In 1898, from April 30 to May 29, Pratt County recorded 14.25 inches for the most over a 31-day period.
While 11.4 inches was the most reported, other stations also reported large amounts including 6.87 inches for July at 3.2 miles west northwest of Preston and 3.62 inches recorded at 1.2 miles southeast of Preston. The station just north of Cullison reported 7.92 inches for July.
The 11.4 inches was almost three times above 3.03 inches normal amount for July. With the excess moisture, the county is headed for a precipitation total that could be well above normal for the year. The normal total precipitation for the entire year for Pratt is 27.94 inches. As of August 9, the total for 2018 was at 24.37 inches, Knapp said.
The oldest operating weather station in the county is three miles northwest of Pratt with records dating back to 1895. Average rainfall for a location is based on 30 years of information so the 3.03 inches normal for July is based on that average.
For precipitation totals, July is usually the fourth wettest month of the year with June being the wettest followed by August, May then July.
The normal averages for each month in Pratt County are:
• 0.69 inches January.
• 0.96 inches February.
• 2.43 inches March.
• 2.58 inches April.
• 3.68 inches May.
• 4.40 inches June.
• 3.03 inches July.
• 3.37 inches August.
• 2.38 inches September.
• 2.28 inches October.
• 1.18 inches November.
• 0.96 inches December.
• 27.94 inches for a normal year total in Pratt County.
Pratt received some rain the morning of August 13 that will add to the yearly total. As of August 9, Pratt County had received 24. 37 inches, so if Pratt received at least average rainfall, there could be another 10.17 inches added to that total that would bring the year total to 34.54 inches. That would make for a historic 6 inches above normal for the year.