The Ag-Climate Update is a joint effort between our climate and extension specialists. Every month the update includes a brief summary of that month, agronomic impacts, relevant maps and graphs, 1-month temperature and precipitation outlooks, monthly extremes, and notable highlights.
February 2020: Dry – north and Wet – south, but soil moisture still dry in western KS
With respect to climate, February was middle-of-the-road. It ranked as the 33rd wettest February due to the pushing precipitation south by polar vortexes. It ranked as the 66th warmest, right in the middle of the distribution. Atwood set a new record high temperature for the month, with 84 oF on the 3rd. Across the state, 48 new daily record high temperatures were recorded, all on either the February 2nd or 3rd. Despite that warm start, the month averaged slightly cooler than normal.
Statewide precipitation averaged slightly above normal, with a distinct gradient north to south. All three northern climate divisions were below normal, while all three southern climate divisions were much above normal. Severe weather was limited, and confined to winter weather conditions. There were no reports of tornadoes, hail, or damaging wind.
Winter wheat is beginning to emerge from dormancy, and monitoring the first hollow stem development is important in dual-purpose wheat production systems (Figure 1).
Figure 1. First hollow stem K-State test plots. Photo by Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension.
View the entire February Ag-Climate Summary, including the accompanying maps and graphics (not shown in this summary), at http://climate.k-state.edu/ag/updates/.