The precipitation and temperature outlooks for early summer period were released on April 24 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Unfortunately, for Kansas these outlooks are neutral, and provide little guidance. Projections for both temperature and precipitation are that it is equally likely to be above or below the normal. The precipitation outlook shows Kansas between areas of drier than normal conditions to the northeast and wetter than normal conditions to the southwest. A wet pattern in the Southern Plains and the desert southwest makes it less likely that we will have drier-than-normal conditions in Kansas. For Kansas, the average precipitation for this 3-month period ranges from 14-16 inches in eastern Kansas to as little as 7 inches in western Kansas. The outlook doesn’t indicate the distribution pattern that might develop.
The temperature outlook calls for warmer-than-normal conditions to continue to dominate the country west of the Rockies. Temperatures are expected to be cooler than normal in west Texas and into the Oklahoma Panhandle. During the summer season, it is difficult to have cooler-than-normal temperatures without having at least normal rainfall. This cooler-than-average pattern doesn’t push as far north as Kansas, where temperatures are equally likely to be above or below average. The average temperatures for the period range from over 80 degrees F in the South Central Division to around 70 degrees F in extreme northwest Kansas.
An El Niño has been declared. However, it is very weak and it is uncertain how much impact it will have. An El Niño generally favors wetter-than-normal conditions in the Central Plains. The ridging pattern along the western Rockies is also expected to continue. This has resulted in a split pattern, with the Central Plains as the dividing line. Warmer-than-normal conditions are to the west, while cooler-than-normal conditions are in place to the east.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library