Dodge City, Kansas, recorded its driest July-to-February period in 120 years of records, even exceeding the worst of the Dust Bowl years. (See climate summary at end of this release.) The winter wheat crop from Kansas to Texas has been decimated. At times, clouds of blowing dust have reduced visibility in Kansas to the point where streetlights and headlights are needed. Should the dryness persist into spring and summer, regional effects could be even more severe.
Here is a list of experts on drought assessment and the effects of drought on agriculture. Several of these experts are affiliated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, or with one of the 61 universities that make up the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), also based in Boulder. UCAR operates NCAR under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.
Linda Mearns, 303-497-1625, firstname.lastname@example.org
Agricultural climatologist, NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD)
Specialty: Studies of variability in temperature and precipitation, especially across the Great Plains, and the resulting long-term impacts on agriculture
Kevin Trenberth, 303-497-1318, email@example.com
Head, NCAR/CGD/Climate Analysis Section
Specialty: Analysis of El Nino/Southern Oscillation and other global climate regimes, including persistent patterns that can lead to drought or flooding
Donald Wilhite, 402-472-4270, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, National Drought Mitigation Center/International Drought Information Center
University of Nebraska at Lincoln Specialty: Drought mitigation and planning; drought preparedness and response
Al Peterlin, 202-720-8651
Chief meteorologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C.
Specialty: Briefing the secretary of agriculture weekly on U.S. weather outlook
Douglas LeComte, 202-720-7919, email@example.com
Meteorologist and editor, Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (NOAA/USDA)
Specialty: Reporting on short-term U.S. weather situation and on global weather anomalies, particularly in Africa
Ken Hubbard, 402-472-6706, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, High Plains Climate Center, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Specialty: Short-term monitoring of weather and climate over the High Plains
Location Total Total 1/1/96 - 3/26/96 Normal 10/1/95 - 3/26/96 Normal Kansas Concordia 1.28 2.82 2.82 7.13 Dodge City 1.44 2.37 Topeka 1.72 4.00 3.16 10.42 Wichita 1.63 3.78 Oklahoma Oklahoma City 0.87 5.04 Tulsa 1.54 6.39 Texas Abilene 0.91 3.34 Amarillo 0.45 1.92 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2.51 6.39 Lubbock 0.26 1.85 1.25 4.99 Midland 0.09 1.52 0.88 4.51 San Antonio 0.83 4.78