Kansas drought-free following steady rainfall, heavy snowfall

May 10, 2017

Credit US Drought Monitor

For only the fifth time since 2000, Kansas is entirely drought-free.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, the late-April winter storm brought more than two feet of snow to some parts of western Kansas and double-digit accumulation to a narrow band that stretched north to south in the western third of the state, erasing the final remnants of a drought that has been gradually receding during a remarkably wet spring.

By the end of 2016, nearly 83 percent of the state was experiencing some degree of drought.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Darmofal said much of western Kansas is inherently dry. That is due in part to strong winds, which lends to frequent droughts that set the stage for the largest wildfire in the state’s history in March.

Steady rains and the record-breaking snowfall erased the nearly 15 percent of severe drought that gripped much of southwest Kansas at the beginning of the year. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor is projecting Kansas to remain drought-free through at least the end of July.