Due to the abnormally high amounts of moisture throughout the summer in the eastern half of Kansas, the outlook for precipitation is above average for the fall months, according to a recent update from the Weather Data Library at Kansas State.
The update also states that along with increased precipitation rates, temperatures will be generally warmer-than-normal across the state. Due to increased humidity, the heat index will rise relative to temperature. Starting with September, temperatures on an average day will be mid-to-low 80s.
Christopher Redmond, WDL and Mesonet manager, said the data they produce is used in climate models to come up with long-term forecasts by feeding current and past data into models ran by the National Weather Service.
“To tie the Mesonet to future weather outlook, we can never really know that until we know what is currently going on,” Redmond said. “So we need to look at the current observations compared to climatology.”
Redmond also said that since Kansas has received a lot of precipitation, the moisture in the atmosphere causes a positive feedback creating more precipitation.
However, decreased precipitation and increased temperatures would be more favorable going into the harvest season, according the the update.
The WDL is part of the Kansas Mesonet, a network of dozens of environmental monitoring stations across the state operated by K-State. The network collects current and past data to help Kansas residents in farming, firefighting and other industries make weather-linked decisions.
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The Mesonet uses a rain gauge stations in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, used all over Kansas and especially in Manhattan. There are about 50 stations in the network, and 16 working stations are able to find the approximate amount of rain received from storms to find an average since there is a lot of variability for where the water is in any particular storm.
Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist at K-State, writes the weather outlook and oversees outreach to the public for the WDL under the Kansas Mesonet. Knapp looks for the trends in the data that is spanned for the climate normal timespan, which is every 30 years.
“There is a lot of movement toward automated systems like Mesonet,” Knapp said. “Any of the automated systems has the potential for problems. The human component is that there is someone that is out there that records it and records it not only for you, but for your children and your grandchildren.”
The data collected by Mesonet will be used for generations to come for further outlooks.
Gabe Younger, a senior in secondary education in biology, said he checks the weather on a regular basis using his phone app and when he is at home he watches the local weather stations.
“I actually follow the Kansas Mesonet on Twitter and I keep up with their updates,” Young said.
Knapp said to watch for future events where students can participate in severe weather training as well as events that work through the community like Meadowlark and K-State. Updates are also available for day-to-day climate data on their website and on Twitter.