Kansas Mesonet adds a new tool for tracking days between rainfall events

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The Kansas Mesonet has created a new tool that reports the number of days since a measurable precipitation event.  This information can be helpful when tracking activation of chemicals, assessing crop performance, and evaluating drought or flood risks.

The new page, located at https://mesonet.k-state.edu/precip/consecutive/, gives the number of consecutive days without rainfall for seven different thresholds ranging from 1/10th (0.10”) of an inch to 2 inches. Stations that have gone more than a year without a given amount of rainfall are capped at 365 days.

The map provides a statewide overview, each number representing the current number of days since rainfall at Mesonet stations (Figure). Click or tap a station to get details for that location. Use the “Change Map” drop down menu to change the threshold.

Figure 1. Example of the new tool that tracks the number of consecutive days since a measurable rainfall event. The statewide map provides an overview of all Mesonet stations. Users can select an individual station in the "Change Station" dropdown menu or by clicking on the map at their chosen location. The “Change Map” menu will allow users to choose from 7 different rainfall thresholds. Source: https://mesonet.k-state.edu/precip/consecutive/.

The Chart tab provides data for the past 365 days. Columns (black) show the daily observed precipitation (Figure 2). Shaded areas (blue) show the number of days since precipitation for the given threshold, falling to zero when the daily observation surpasses that threshold.


Figure 2. Example of the "Chart" feature for the new Mesonet tool that measures the number of days since the last rainfall event.

As with other Mesonet tools, all data and maps are available in the Download tab (Figure 3).

Figure 3. The "Download" feature allows users to save the data in various formats (table, chart, and map).


Here are some considerations for understanding the data:

  • Amounts are reported as total observed precipitation in a period from midnight to midnight, CST. If a station receives an inch before midnight and an inch after midnight, it reports two 1-inch events rather than a single 2-inch event.
  • Rainfall can be extremely localized. The measurement at one station may differ even a short distance away and not match interpolations between locations. For another source of observed totals, see CoCoRaHS and consider becoming a CoCoRaHS observer (see a recent eUpdate article on the benefits of joining this network).
  • Mesonet stations measure liquid precipitation. Freezing rain and snow are not measured until they melt, which may be some days after they fell, assuming it didn’t blow out.



Dan Regier, Weather Data Library Developer

Christopher Redmond, Kansas Mesonet Manager

Mary Knapp, Assistant State Climatologist

Tags:  weather Mesonet rainfall tool drought monitoring