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Archive for Friday, December 1, 1989

RAIN TRACES ADD UP TO NOTHING IN NOVEMBER

December 1, 1989

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November brought no measurable rainfall to the Lawrence area, tying it for the driest November ever, according to records kept at the Kansas University Weather Service, the official reporting station for Lawrence.

Mark Bogner, forecaster for the service, said this morning that Lawrence received a trace of rain on four occasions during the month, but the moisture still added up to zero inches, Bogner said.

When reporting rainfall amounts, forecasters and meteorologists refer to any moisture below .01 of an inch as a trace of rain, which can't be measured and goes into the books as a zero, Bogner said.

"If we got a trace of rain every day of the month, it would still equal zero," he said.

The area received a trace of rain on Nov. 2, 15, 16 and 18 to make it the driest November since 1954, according to the records.

"AND 1954 is not a good year to be tying records with," Bogner said. "It was a very dry year."

The Lawrence area normally receives 1.98 inches of precipitation in November.

Through Thursday, Lawrence has received 28.58 inches of rain for the year, which is 6.79 inches short of normal rainfall amounts during the first 11 months of the year, Bogner said.

The area also received a trace of snow on Nov. 15, but no measurable moisture, he said.

Bogner said the dismal November and yearly rainfall figures indicated that a drought that hit the area last year is continuing.

"The drought definitely is not over," he said. "The August rains we received were just a cruel joke played by Mother Nature."

WHILE THE area lagged behind normal rainfall amounts, the average temperatures were slightly above normal, the records show.

The average high temperature in November was 57.4 degrees, which is 2.4 degrees above the normal average high temperature of 55 degrees, he said. The average low temperature for the month, however, was right on the mark at 34.9 degrees, which is normal average low temperature for November.

The average overall November temperature in Lawrence was 46.1 degrees, which is 1.2 degrees above the normal reading of 44.9 degrees.

The highest temperature recorded for the month was 77 degrees on Nov. 11, while the lowest monthly mark was 14 degrees Wednesday.

The high temperature of 76 degrees on Nov. 12 set a record, breaking the old mark of 74 degrees set in 1944 and tied in 1971.

"The entire month could be summed up in four words," Bogner said. "Slightly warm, very dry."

JACK LINDQUIST, Douglas County agriculture Extension agent, said this morning that recently planted county wheat crops need moisture to increase their chances of surviving through the winter.

If the dry conditions persist, wheat plants could use up too quickly the subsoil moisture that feeds them during the winter, Lindquist said.

Dennis Bejot, county horticulture agent, also said this morning that people concerned about their lawns, trees and shrubs can water them until the soil freezes. Shrubs planted along the foundation of homes especially need water to help them through the winter, he said.

Lindquist and Bejot said the effects of the dry weather could be noticeable in lawns and wheat crops, but officials say the lack of moisture should not affect the state's Christmas tree crop yet.

THE EFFECT of the severe lack of moisture, however, may hit area Christmas tree growers hard six, eight or 10 years in the future, said officials with the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Assn.

"The impact of the drought will be felt down the road a few years," said Bill Loucks, who is with the state forestry department and is also secretary/treasurer of the association.

"In northeast Kansas, the drought has caused some young trees to die; many that were planted in the last two years are gone," he said.

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