October 2010 was dry in Kansas—19 of the state’s official reporting stations recorded no moisture at all. Through 10 days of the month, none of the statewide network of stations reported any precipitation.
“For another 10 days, our statewide average precipitation was less than a hundredth of an inch. Kansas’ overall total for the month added up to just a third of normal,” said Mary Knapp, state climatologist. “It could have been much worse, though. It wasn’t our driest October on record.”
Kansas’ October drought record holder remains October of 1914.
“Nov. 9, 1914, marked the end of what still is the longest dry spell in the history of the continental United States,” Knapp said. “On that day, Bagdad, Calif. – which is located in the Mojave Desert – saw its first measurable precipitation since Oct. 3, 1912. Bagdad had gone an incredible 767 days without rain.”
As Kansas’ official climatologist, Knapp not only maintains the state’s weather-recording stations but also the ever-growing Kansas Weather Data Library of records that extend back into the 1800s. The library’s home is with Kansas State University Research and Extension. Kansas weather data is always available on the Web at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/wdl/.