What the January?

Surface temperature analysis for the afternoon of 1/28.

Surface temperature analysis for the afternoon of 1/28.


I feel like I blog as much about weather as I do about ecology, but the craziness on the plains is impossible to ignore.

Today Topeka, KS surpassed its record high for the MONTH of January. It was 75 degrees. The old record was 74, and the record for the date was 67. It was 76 in Manhattan, KS, but the NWS doesn’t keep extremes records for MHK. Temperatures have surpassed 60 degrees six times this month in Manhattan (30-40 degrees is average).

So what? It is supposed to cool down to slightly below average later this week (before rising back up to the 50-60 degree range).

Well, context is key. Look at the most recent drought monitor.

1/22/13 Drought Monitor for KS.

1/22/13 Drought Monitor for KS.

And look at the 6-10 and 8-14 temperature outlooks (precip is equal chances above or below average).

There is a high probability that the plains will be warmer than average next week.

There is a high probability that the plains will be warmer than average next week.

and the week after next as well!

and the week after next as well!

We just keep piling one unprecented event on top of the next. It isn’t for certain that 2013 will see terrible drought on the plains, but it looks more and more likely, and drought in its second, third, or fourth year (depending on where you are from the Dakotas to TX) is going to have consequences for the ecosystems we study, the food we eat, barge traffic, and for some of us, how much we are able to enjoy where we live.

But I’m in Oregon now. Looking at climate change projections, the Great Plains is not the place to be in coming decades.

Update: Manhattan and Topeka also broke records on 1/29 between midnight 2am, 68 and 70 degrees, respectively…70 after midnight in January in Topeka. That is jaw-dropping.

About these ads

About prairiebotanist

www.prairiebotanist.com
This entry was posted in Weather and Climate and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s