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Archive for Monday, June 1, 1998

T EXPECT HOT WEATHER, LOW RAINFALL TO LAST

June 1, 1998

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Relief from the heat is expected by Thursday, the National Weather Service says.

Local farmer John Pendleton said another two weeks of above-normal temperatures and no rain could lead to drought-like conditions in the area.

But a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said there is nothing in the long-range forecast to indicate that the area will experience a drought this summer.

``The amazing thing is we're always two weeks from either a drought or a flood,'' Pendleton said. ``If we don't get any more rain ... this is going to be the beginning of a drought.''

But, he said, all it takes is one good rain and the area should be fine.

High temperatures of 15 degrees above normal during the last two weeks or so have led to ``July-type growth spurts'' for sweet corn and other crops, Pendleton said.

But he said, ``Anything that's been irrigated looks good now.''

Sweet corn, normally available by July 4, may be ready by the end of June this year as long as area farmers are able to irrigate their crop, he said.

``If any year we have sweet corn in June, this should be it,'' he said.

John Woynick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said the recent weather pattern has been more typical of July or August, rather than late May.

But he said that doesn't mean the pattern is going to continue from now until September.

``It's not that it stays forever,'' he said. ``There is usually systems that will come through and break down that ridge'' of high pressure that allows the summer-like conditions, he said.

The NWS is forecasting highs to drop into the mid-70s by Thursday and Friday, he said.

There also is a chance of rain this week.

As of Sunday, 2.08 inches of rain had fallen in Topeka for the month, making it the 15th driest May on record, he said. The normal amount for May is 4.27. Figures for Lawrence aren't available.

So far this year, Topeka has received 8.68 inches of precipitation. The normal amount for this time of year is 11.8, Woynick said.

He said a precipitation deficit of 2 or 3 inches can be made up in one thunderstorm.

``You can make up you're deficit really quick,'' he said.

The Kansas area should see normal precipitation for the next three and a half months, according to the national Climate Prediction Center in Maryland, Woynick said.

Most of Kansas should see average temperatures throughout the period as well, he said, but there is a slight chance that temperatures in extreme northeast Kansas could be below average through mid-August, according to the long-range outlook.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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