Over the past week, the area of Kansas officially in moderate drought has doubled. The drought in northwest Kansas has spread into central Kansas and a new area of drought has formed in east central Kansas as well.
So far, generally dry weather across the state has been beneficial in getting a fast-moving fall harvest complete. But it has also taken a toll on the health of the 2016 winter wheat crop, especially in the driest areas.
That could be about to change, according to the forecast on the U.S. Drought Monitor website.
That forecast predicts that during the next 5 days, a slow-moving storm system will provide significant drought relief but possibly cause flash flooding in the south-central U.S. Five-day rainfall totals could reach at least 2 to 5 inches on the southern High Plains; 2 to 6 inches in the western Gulf Coast region; and 3 to 7 inches across the southeastern Plains.
Showers will also overspread the northern and central Plains, although totals from Nebraska to the Dakotas will be mostly an inch or less. Scattered showers will also reach the Ohio Valley and the Midwest, but mostly dry weather will prevail through the weekend in the southern Atlantic States and the Far West. Outside of the storm system’s primary impact area (e.g. the south-central U.S.), warm weather will prevail nearly nationwide.
The National Weather Service's 6- to 10-day outlook for October 27 – 31 calls for the likelihood of warmer-than-normal weather across Florida, Alaska, and from the Pacific Coast to the northern and central Plains and the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal temperatures can be expected across much of the South, East, and lower Midwest.
The last 5 days of October should feature near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S., with the greatest likelihood of wet weather occurring across the lower Southeast. In contrast, drier-than-normal conditions should occur in western Alaska and from the northern Plains into the upper Great Lakes region.