Is it true Lawrence has been in a low-grade drought for three years and that rainfall for 2001, 2002, and 2003 was below normal? If so, how far behind in total rainfall is Lawrence for the past three years?
Yes. Northeast Kansas has been abnormally dry since 2001, said Matt Sayers, chief meteorologist for 6News.
From January 2001 through Tuesday, the Lawrence area received 113.75 inches of precipitation, or 18.47 inches less than average, Sayers said. Of particular note: From July 2001 through December 2003, Lawrence precipitation was 24.47 inches less than average.
The drought-stricken area extends from northeast Kansas into northwest Missouri, southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska, he said.
"The good news is this same region has seen above-normal precipitation so far this year," Sayers said.