Severe drought has been gripping much of Kansas, but in some parts of the state that grip has been easing; much of central and eastern Kansas is back to normal. As recently as three months ago, around 97 percent of the state was experiencing drought.
Mary Knapp with Kansas State University calls the turnaround “exceptional.”
“In central and southeastern Kansas we’ve actually gone from drought to deluge," she says. "We’ve got a number of locations that have seen incredible amounts of rain in the last three weeks.”
Knapp says heavy rains and lower temperatures in eastern Kansas have helped eliminate the drought in many areas. But the picture isn’t so rosy for western Kansas, where severe drought is still persistent.
“In the western areas they have been in exceptional drought for almost two years now. So while they’ve seen some moisture and have seen some improvement, it will take significantly longer for them to get out of it,” say Knapp.
Around 16 percent of Kansas, all in the west, is still suffering under the most severe category of drought.