With dry start to 2017, Douglas County listed in moderate drought

With dry start to 2017, Douglas County listed in moderate drought.
Advertisement Douglas County and northeast Kansas are in a moderate drought with no indication that will soon change, despite the expected return of more seasonal temperatures.
Kyle Poage, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said Lawrence has received 1.01 inches of rain so far this year, which is 1.85 inches below normal.
Surrounding readings suggest only a trace of rain fell Monday in Lawrence, although one station a mile south of Eudora reported 1.21 inches from a locally strong storm Monday, Poage said.
The dry start to the year follows a dry 2016.
Poage said Lawrence ended last year with 32.74 inches of rain, or 5.81 inches below normal.
“It’s not going to end the drought, but at least it’s something,” he said.
Although Douglas County hasn’t experienced the devastating and deadly wildfires of central or western Kansas, rural fire departments have battled numerous grass fires the last month fed by the dry late-winter vegetation and blustery winds.
Controlled burns are prohibited on those days when the index is listed as very high, extreme or red flag, she said.
Rural residents are required to notify Douglas County Emergency Communications at 785-843-0250 if they plan to burn so that rural fire departments don’t respond to those reporting controlled burns, Smith said.

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