An Extremely Dry Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

While I have been on vacation for over a week not much has changed weather-wise. We continue to be excessively dry with nothing significant in sight:

Rainfall Last Few Months:

  • September 5th -30th: 0.64″ (-3.60″)
  • October:  1.03″ (-2.13″)
  • November:  1.36″ (-0.79″)
  • December:  0.02″ (-0.57″)
  • Total Since September 5th:  3.05″ (-7.09″ 30% of average)
Kansas City is still on pace for having one of the warmest year in our history:
Temperatures did drop into the teens this morning, but this week will enjoy another warming trend ahead of a potential late week storm.  This end of the week storm system looks like it will be lacking any cold air to work with.  We will go over the details on 41 Action News today and tonight.
We would like to thank everyone who came by area Walmarts on Saturday supporting the Marines Toys for Tots drive.
Have a great start to the week. I am back on the air today and hopefully we will have something more exciting to talk about. Kansas City is just not in a good spot as we wait for our first snow of the season. Will we be waiting into 2013?


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49 comments to An Extremely Dry Pattern

  • davidmcg

    Morning Gary and welcome back, when its this cold outside, 14.8°F with a windchill of 4°F here in McLouth, its hard to get started. But I have been having a long running discussion with many of my ag and non-ag friends here in Jefferson County KS about this drought and how it relates to the drought of the 1980’s. I use that one, because there are more of us around that know/remember it, that the 1950’s drought. My argument is that this drought is far worse, but the effects are quite felt as hard as back in the 80’s. I base this on temp and precip data from the last 3 years. Plus, it is not felt as hard because of advances in ag practices, better tilling practices, better drought and insect resistant seed and fertilizers. Along with more efficient heating/cooling systems in our homes buildings, less water consumption from higher efficient appliances and shower heads. There are more ponds and creeks drying up now that in the past. So far, I have gotten fewer followers on this. But if things do not change quickly in the spring, I think we will be on a brink of a disaster few will disagree on or forget. Probably sometime in late February or early March, we will see the full and real effect of the drought of the last 2 years alone. I believe especially in food prices we will see a spike hit that most are not ready for. But its not just the great plains of the USA, its pretty much world wide coupled with some natural and man made disasters in food producing areas. I guess this xame old same old weather makes you job easier, but awful boring.

    • David,

      Yes, this may be making my job easier, but I would prefer to have a much more stormier and exciting weather pattern. This dry winter weather pattern will likely continue at least into early spring. May and June will always be a wild card as sometimes a dry pattern could get wet as the Gulf of Mexico moisture moves in. And, we will have some hope this winter if the AO and NAO can both go negative shifting the storm track farther south. For now, it is just not looking good.

    • Fred Souder

      This particular drought has been more dry for some parts of the mid-west, but not as bad in the SW (where it is always dry so they irrigate). Areas east of here and in the corn belt have been getting better lately. The biggest problem with this drought has been our overuse of land for corn. It has been so high compared to wheat or soy beans that it is hard not to grow it. Also, new heat resistant strains have made it a viable crop all the way into NE Oklahoma. Unfortunately, corn is super thirsty. If we can irrigate it, corn needs about 1/4 inch of water a day on average for optimal growth. Something that has been fine in the US for the last few years (unusual) until this current drought, so now people are getting into some trouble. Corn in OK and SE KS was fine the last few years, but this was anomalous. It got people (including us) used to something that normally is a higher risk. Now that things are drying up, wheat is doing fine in these places but corn is burning up. You are correct in your assessment that we are better able to handle droughts now than in the 80’s, though. If rivers that are used to irrigate in Nebraska and Arizona and California go dry, then we will see major problems. This is very unlikely.

      • One other thing to note is the lowering of the aquifers across the globe…to much pressure,farming,will create them useless in the near future…

        • Fred Souder

          Lowering of aquifers is a problem. We are not allowed to drill any additional wells into the aquifer, and each extant well is monitored (there is a cap on how much can be drawn from each well. Even with this, the aquifer is still declining. Need a lot of snow in the rockies and the high plains to recharge it.

          Over fertilizing, and the overuse of pesticides is feeding our planet. Everyone should visit farms that try to skimp on either. Or, see what happens to food prices and world hunger when everyone tries to go “organic”.

          • I didn,t know about the cap….The pesticides kill the wild life;the small birds that eat the poisoned insects,to the raptors that feed on the small birds,etc. etc……

    • Over fertilizing,and the overuse of pesticides,is killing our planet!!!!

  • Of good things to note,is the polar jet,and the subtropical jet forecasted to combine later this week,and bring much needed disturbances/moisture to the plains/midwest…I hope this is the case…

  • sedsinkc

    Gary, KCI got .02″ of rain yesterday morning, so yearly total now 20.96.” Yippee.

  • sedsinkc

    This is insulting. An area of North Texas around and south of Wichita Falls got up to 1 inch of snow early this morning, enough to show up on the visible satellite photo.

  • R-Dub

    NWS seems pretty bullish on this storm for rain…what does the weather team think? Definitely don’t see any snow but hoping for something like we got back in early November.

  • f00dl3


    It’s always been “next week” – a storm system, jet stream energy moving in, etc etc etc. The only reason we have had more than 10″ of rain this year is due to the luck

    of the draw of getting several systems to give us rain last winter, and a very rare tropical cyclone tracking in the perfect spot for the KC metro area. If we wouldn’t

    have had this luck, we would be under 10″ of rainfall. Furthermore, without Isaac, we would have had at least another full week of highs in the 98-107 range, and our

    average temperature could be as much as 0.3 higher.

    If this would have happened – even the year with the least rainfall in history would have been HALVED! There is no way this is normal or part of a cycle, when in the last 110 years this has NEVER HAPPEND BEFORE!

    To further the Global Warming debate, every single month this year has been the warmest global temperature of that month in recorded history, and if memory serves me

    right every new month brings another record warm global temperature. This is proof that our earth is warming and it’s destined to keep doing this forever.

    We are in a drought. We will not have more snow than last year – in fact, with the lack of any real storms developing – I don’t even think we will have 3″ of snowfall

    this entire winter. We won’t have our first inch of snow until late Jan. It’s already almost halfway through December, and our realistic snowfall season is the middle

    of November into the middle of March. That means we are almost a quarter of the way done with snow this winter, and we don’t have jack squat. With the LRC, I don’t

    expect this to change, either.

    (Yes, I put a bit of sarcasm in here, I don’t care.)

    • It is frustrating. We really need some kind of blocking, an Arctic blast, and a disturbance aloft timed right. These things may not come together for a long time.


    • The upper air dynamics are changing than what we,ve experienced this year…As mentioned above,the southner jet looks like it will get involved w/ any storm that develops over the next week ,or so(?)….I understand were your coming from,though this maybe the straw that broke the camels back,per se….I,m confident we will get measurable prec.in K.C. fri./sat….W/ anther storm on its heals…The second storm may effect the ozarks more than the K.C. area…

    • Fred Souder

      Sounds like you are interested in the Global Warming debate. Good. There is a lot of good information out there if you dig for it. Please do not fall into the trap that so many people do of calling any weather we are experiencing now “unprecedented” or “never happened before”. Hopefully we will warm up to temperatures that are much better for world civilizations as in the medieval warm period, or the even warmer Roman period, or the even warmer Holisticene Optimum, all of which were warmer than we are today. Unfortunately, according to the data published by NOAA, there has been no measurable warming in the last 17 years, and many signs point to cooling on the horizon.

      • The aerial spray of pesticides is a Major Threat to our health….Monitors have been set-up across the upper midwest(Iowa,Minn., Wisconsin),and are detecting dangers amounts of carcinogens in the atmosphere….These monitors are operated by the EPA,and are find heavy use of aerial spraying of pesticides as the main factor…

  • Dobber

    F0odl “IF this would have happened”, well IF my aunt had balls she would be my uncle.

  • Emaw

    Gary, what good would an Arctic blast do for our drought situation? Generally speaking Arctic air generally means dry air.

  • Emaw

    Fred, excellent points, but the GW alarmists don’t like facts. How about the fact that the other 4 warmest years on record predate 1955. What caused that, too many Model T’s rollin around?

    • No, the industrial revolution from the 1750-now…

      • Fred Souder

        That depends if you think land use or CO2 caused the warming. If CO2, then industrial revolution did not add any measurable CO2 until after 1950. Of course, land use and urbanization causes a lot of localized warming.

  • Everyone who has any questions on the effects of mass production in the food chain,needs to pick-up and READ the K.C.Star this week…..Great insight of what our/your Farmers/Ranchers are doing….The majority of you have NO IDEA whats happening….And the Cattle industry wants it to stay that way…….. Have a good 1 :)

  • rred95

    yep the easy, cheap, fast way is to dump chemicals on our food to make it grow bigger and faster even though its harmful to our health and planet. Profits always win out over doing it the healthy right way.

  • Fred Souder

    Unfortunately, the profit margins in farming are tiny. Couple that with high volumes of money, and you get a system that we have today. Mid-range to small farmers spend up to $300,000 just on seed each year. Lot of risk. Farmers and ranchers know just what they need to do to be viable and not go bankrupt. If you think that farmers and ranchers are making huge profits, then you are very wrong. Doing it the healthy, right way means a lot of starvation in the world, and way, way more expensive food for all of us. So, it is a bit of a moral quandry. If we ban herbicides and pesticides, or mandate more organic foods, then it will be better for the environment in the places that farm and the world will be able to sustain fewer people. It is amazing that people seem to think of farmers as people that just throw fertilizer down willy nilly, and “overuse” it, just so they can make a profit. Come on, people. Fertilizer costs a tremendous amount of money, and farmers only use the amount they must to achieve a profitable yield. If you want to cut down on fertilizer, that is great, and it will help the environment. It will raise food prices and cause starvation. So, what should we do?

    • One of my issues is aerial spraying…The over use of antibiotics,and growth promotants that are used in a way that”never compromises the health and safety of consumers”…I,m quoting from todays K.C.Stars front page headline article on “BUILDING BIGGER CATTLE:AN INDUSTRY OVERDOSE”…. Sense your a teacher,maybe you should read this 3 part series….It may give you a larger understanding how the industry works…..

      • Fred Souder

        Yes. I read the article. I was an environmental engineer before becoming a teacher. You learn things. Never trust an expert that claims they know more than the people who are actually doing it. Never trust a computer model or a theory when it does not agree with observable data.

        • And “who,s”observing the data??? Should we just take the industrialist word that they,re keeping things safe…Come on now….I hope that,s not what your teaching your students…..

          • Fred Souder

            This was a general statement about the lousy state of science these days. Too many people sitting in their offices making claims about something they have never observed and don’t go outside to take actual data. I try to teach my students to actively go find out something for themselves rather than to trust the news. Certainly not the KC Star or Major networks that have to make a story sensational to get viewership. As always, there is some truth in the STAR article, but there is also a lot of overblown facts. Remember Hurricane Sandy? Oh, that’s right, it wasn’t a hurricane when it made landfall, as no land stations reported sustained winds of 74 mph. But, it was certainly “Unprecedented” in the news. Worst storm ever to hit the area. That is, unless you actually ask the people who have been living there and the meteorologists that work there and know of at least 5 storms that were worse. Again, people are very susceptible to this type of alarmist baloney, so our science students need to be able to filter out all the nonsense.

            • There were alarms being rung…Very few heeded them,due to Hurricane Irean…So they payed the price….Now they,re screaming to the gov.,HELP ME,over and over….

            • sedsinkc

              I am not going to discuss the climate debate, but in fairness I want to bring up two points about Sandy that you fail to mention. Number one, it was not the wind, but the storm surge that came at a time of astronomical high tide that made the storm so bad for coastal New York City and New Jersey. The track of this storm and the large wind fetch around its center forced an unprecedented surge of water into the New Jersey bight and western Long Island Sound. Second, although no sustained hurricane force winds were reported on land, there were widespread reports of hurricane force gusts all across New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, and also in coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts despite the center of Sandy making landfall in southern New Jersey, a couple of hundred miles south of New England.

            • sedsinkc

              There was also the historically low barometric pressure that came onshore in New Jersey, which also increased the storm surge there.

    • You just don,t under stand Fred….This is not your Mom&Dad operations any more….These are Low margin,Mass profit Cartels,that are force feeding our beef….Before long,NO pro-athlete,will be able to pass a drug test,due to all the growth hormones pumped into our beef….P.S. The Royals trade yesterday was a great one……….

      • Fred Souder

        Look, I am not saying that its right. I am just saying that people don’t understand that this drives the price of food down, and increases the amount of product that can be generated per acre. It does a lot. More than people think. Organic farming is great for people in JoCo who can afford a product that is more expensive even after government subsidies. If you wish to ban steroids and chemicals from agriculture and ranching then you must be prepared for food to become more scarce and prices to rise. A lot. Also, your assessment of the Roydals trade was apt.

        • I understand what your say,but(who ever thought I would rebuttal,,,)thats the price we will have to except,higher prices….Fathom is a word that no one wants to talk of…Neither is mutation from eating our food…. It,s a catch 22…

  • Farmgirl

    The majority of fertilzers and pesticides used are not from agricultural, but from urban and suburban areas to keep nice green lawns evening during a drought. Grasspad drove me nuts touting how green several of their customers lawn looked during our hot and dry summer. I WAS not impressed. All the water resources should have been saved instead of having a beautiful and lush non-productive green lawn.

    Also, sustainable farming practices can be profitable and produce high yields. A consumer mind shift needs to occur on how we consume meat and vegetable products. Take a look at Animal Welfare Approved site. I belong to this organization. It is basically common sense farming/ranching practices.

    Kansas needs moisture for the wheat crops. As each dry week goes by, the wheat growth is slowly delayed. It will be devasting if the wheat crop fails too in 2013.

    If we do not get any substantial rain by March, we will be selling off our livestock. Hay prices are already rediculous and we strive for pasture based ranching versus a grain-centric approach.

  • The up-dated ECMWF(12Z) still has rain/T-storms for the metro fri,/sat. Get the spiders out of your umbrella….

  • I,m winning Fred;16 to 8 on posts today….Now make that 17 to 8….

  • f00dl3

    Having that nice green grass – is it worth it or not?

    What’s really the greener thing to do?

    This summer I decided to not water under the impression that the lawn would go dormant. 70% of the grass (crappy Zoisa stuff) died. I ended up spending $100 for new “fescue/blue mix” grass seed, $60 for verticutting, and $120 on water for daily watering for 40 mins (10 mins each section) for a month or so after re-seeding late SEP/early OCT.

    Is it more efficient / cost effective to let the grass die, re-seed, and water 40 mins / daily for 30 days straight, or to just water once a week for 40 mins to give the grass the water it needs during dry summer weeks?

  • There are alternatives to agricultural farming practices that destroy the land. We run a sustainable livestock farms selling beef, pork and chicken to local Kansas City families. We raise animals in natural environments. Each year of farming our land gets better, not worse and we do not add fertilizer or use any synthetic chemicals at all.

    This drought has been tough on us, as it has for all farmers. However, good farming and grazing practices have minimized it toll on our livestock!

    Synergistic Acres – Kansas City Natural Meat

    • mukustink

      Your site was rather interesting. It’s very unusual that you are farmers when farming was not in your immdiate family. Best of luck to you. The dogs are great!

  • mattmaisch

    Hi Gary,

    Now after last winter and the start we’ve had this year, how can I not post these links. Maybe we just need Santa to hook us up!(And as I read it, I do believe it’s all snow.) Surely the models wouldn’t have any errors at 348 hours! :)



  • McCabe58

    Saw there were a lot of comments on the blog and was hoping for storm talk… Instead it’s just jibberish about global warming blah blah blah.. Boring. Doesn’t exist

    • mukustink

      Get used to the same old boring crap as it will be with us most of the winter and spring. Gary needs to bring up topics to discuss because the weather isn’t happening.

      Gary how was your trip? Hope the two of you had a good time! I hear that changes may be coming witht he new GM/President. Any truth to that?

  • Theo

    Redo the graphic with the “all-time record warm years”. We have already dropped out of contention for the record. These last 5 days have dropped us out of the top 3.

    When you’re in a drought, leave it out. We will not have any big rains or snows in December. January and February may bring a couple of 4+ inch snowfalls, but we will be in full-blown exceptional drought come the end of March.

  • I hear the same kneejerk misguided arguments that pushed for the DDT ban. Of course millions of lives were traded for less thinning of bird eggshells in that one. :/