If you are into gambling and you feel optimistic at the slightest odds for a win, then you might want to check out some of the long-range weather forecasts.
State climatologist Mary Knapp says the forecasts for next week – June 8-14 – show at least a 50-50 chance of temperatures near "normal" for this time of year. Which, by the way, is still HOT, just not sizzling.
And for the next week, June 15-21, the odds are still 50-50 that it won't be as brutally hot as last year or the last couple of weeks.
There are the same kind of even-steven odds that rainfall will be "normal," which for mid-July is not much.
The good news in that, for those of you who love to see the glass half full, is that the odds are not extensively in favor of it being extremely hot – as in 110 and above – or totally devoid of any chance of rain.
Knapp says we won't know for another couple of months if an El Nino is officially developing in the equatorial Pacific, a condition that usually shifts the jet stream southward and brings storm systems across the southern Plains.
"We have seen rising sea temperatures in that area, but it has to be persistent for several months for it to be officially declared an El Nino," she said. "We will probably know by September."
In the meantime, she said, two other things could bring drought relief to parched Kansas. Monsoon storms developing off the coast of Baja, Calif., could begin to move a little farther north, bringing storms through New Mexico into Kansas. Or a hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast could bring rain bands far enough north to reach Kansas.
The folks at the National Weather Service apparently aren't really optimistic about the chances of improvement in our lives. The Seasonal Drought Outlook covering the period from June 21 to Sept. 30 shows drought as persistent or worsening over all but a sliver of Kansas.