We analyzed long term climatic data from 1895-2015 for the state of Kansas, and evaluated trends in air temperature, precipitation, drought, and frost-free days. This study also highlights historic climatic extremes.
Overall there was a statewide increase in temperature in western, central, and eastern Kansas however no statistically significant trends except in winter. There were no statistically significant trends in precipitation with naturally high variability in precipitation impacting significance. While not statistically significant, western Kansas tended to experience less rainfall while central and eastern Kansas tended to experience more rainfall.
There was a significant overall increase in frost free days with western Kansas gaining 5 frost free days, central Kansas gaining 7 frost free days, and eastern Kansas gaining 12 frost free days, indicating greater warming in eastern Kansas. Gains in frost-free days in water limited areas may increase seasonal evapotranspiration losses, increasing crop water demands in the long-term.
All results have implications for resource managers in west, central, and east Kansas for agricultural viability and profitability within a changing climate.
Publication: Lin, X., Harrington, J., Ciampitti, I., Gowda, P., Brown, D. and Kisekka, I. (2017). Kansas Trends and Changes in Temperature, Precipitation, Drought, and Frost-Free Days from the 1890s to 2015. Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education, 162: 18 – 30.