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A "flood area" sign is partially submerged at Fancy Creek near Tuttle Creek Reservoir north of Manhattan, Kanasas.

Above normal precipitation has fallen over much of Kansas this spring and weather patterns are unlikely to change during early summer, according to Kansas State University weather specialists at Kansas Mesonet.  | Download this photo.

Waterlogged Kansas may be in for even more rain, flooding

K-State weather specialists say wet pattern will persist

May 28, 2019


MANHATTAN, Kan. — Rainfall patterns that turned lawns and farm fields into unintended ponds and swelled rivers to capacity and beyond are likely to continue into June, according to weather specialists at Kansas State University.

“The persistent pattern has consisted of back and forth movement of a stationary front across the central Plains. This front is separating cold with below-normal temperatures to the north and west and above-normal temperatures to the south and east,” said Chip Redmond, manager of Kansas Mesonet, a system of weather stations across the state that detect and record weather data. “Where the front sets up daily will be the focus for the heaviest flooding rains.”

Because of already saturated soils, Redmond and his colleague, assistant climatologist Mary Knapp, do not expect flooding issues to end in Kansas anytime soon.

“It is almost a guarantee that water control issues will continue into June, if not worsen,” Redmond said. Areas in the central and eastern part of the state have been hit particularly hard.

Agriculture Today radio interview with Mary Knapp

Springtime temperatures have also been below normal, said Knapp, who added that it’s a trend likely to continue. That will also be a factor in how quickly the soil can dry out.

Beyond June, Knapp and Redmond expect temperatures to warm seasonably but noted that soil surface moisture may increase evaporation/transpiration rates, injecting moisture into the atmosphere. That in turn may result in above average shower and thunderstorm activity.

With ponds and lakes already near or at capacity in some areas, even without more moisture, it is likely to take months before flows return to normal, Knapp said.

“Every rainfall we get in the process will push back that return, possibly substantially,” she said.

More information is available on the Kansas Mesonet website, Office of the State Climatologist website, and in the latest K-State Agronomy eUpdate weekly newsletter.


At a glance

Wet, cool weather patterns across Kansas are unlikely to change much in June, K-State weather specialists say.





Notable quote

“It is almost a guarantee that water control issues will continue into June, if not worsen.”

— Chip Redmond, manager of Kansas Mesonet at Kansas State University


Chip Redmond


Mary Knapp

Written by

Mary Lou Peter
913-856-2335 Ext. 130


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K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the wellbeing of Kansans.
Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.