Kansas weather outlook for summer 2018

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The Climate Prediction Center has released the Summer Outlook. In general, the outlook has a slightly increased chance of warmer-than-normal temperatures for the period of June through August. That is an average of the 3-month period, so a warm start doesn’t eliminate a cool end to the season. Warmer than normal temperatures are expected remain through the end of May. The Climate Prediction Center’s one-month outlook for June calls for an increased chance of above normal temperatures state wide.

Figure 1. Summer temperature outlook on the left (CPC); Kansas normal summer average temperatures on the right (Weather Data Library).

Normal highs in mid-July (middle of the summer) range from 90 degrees F at Concordia to 94 degrees F at Elkhart.   

The precipitation outlook is less clear. There are equal chances for above- or below-normal precipitation across the state. In western Kansas, that amount ranges from 7.39 – 8.75 inches, while in eastern Kansas, the amount ranges from 13 inches to over 15 inches.

Figure 2. Summer precipitation outlook on the left (CPC); Kansas normal summer precipitation on the right (Weather Data Library).

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to be neutral throughout the period.  The La Niña conditions, with cooler waters, have faded. There is a slight chance for an El Niño developing in the fall.  El Niño conditions frequently favor higher-than-normal precipitation in the Plains.

The warmer-than-normal temperature outlook is driven mainly by decadal (10-year) patterns.  Note that this is the average of the three-month period, and doesn’t eliminate the possibility of colder-than-normal conditions during the summer months.  The precipitation outlook is driven mainly by the sea-surface temperature and constructed analog models.  Keep in mind, the skill with both outlook products is weakest with neutral ocean temperatures and doesn’t account for individual events such as a thunderstorm or tropical system that produces a heavy rainfall event.  Warmer-than-normal temperatures would increase the opportunity for late-planted spring crops to mature before the first frost, but could increase the evaporative demand and have flowering/grain-fill occur under less favorable conditions.



Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library

Christopher Redmond, Kansas Mesonet