KGS Home General Info Index Page News Releases

News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Nov. 20, 1995

Survey Releases New Publication on Kansas Climate

LAWRENCE--You can't do much about the weather, but a new publication from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, will help you talk about it.

The new book, an atlas about the weather and climate of Kansas, uses maps to display information about precipitation, temperatures, and other aspects of the state's climate.

The book was written by Douglas Goodin and Raymond Bivens of the Kansas State University Geography Dept., Mary Knapp of the State Climatologist's Office at KSU, and James Mitchell, formerly of the Kansas Geological Survey.

"This book provides basic, general information about weather in the state," said state climatologist Mary Knapp. "It won't help you decide how to dress on a given day, but the information on first and last frost-free days, for example, should help gardening and agricultural activities."

The book includes maps of precipitation, snowfall, average high and low temperatures, and heating and cooling degree days. The book also includes tables showing record precipitation events for selected cities in the state (Winfield received 9.12 inches during one day in October 1973) and record high and low temperatures for selected cities (the highest temperature ever recorded at Phillipsburg was 120 degrees in, of course, July 1936). The book also includes a map showing the state's weather stations, a glossary, and a list of suggested additional reading.

Several of the book's maps demonstrate the connection between climate and landscape.

The map of the average date of the first freeze in Kansas, for example, shows that frost occurs, on average, the first week in October for northwestern Kansas, parts of northeastern Kansas, and a portion of the Flint Hills. Freezes occur in mid-October over much of the rest of the state, while south-central and southeastern Kansas usually get their first freeze in the fourth week of October.

"You expect earlier freezes in northwestern Kansas, because it is farther north and the elevation is higher than the rest of the state," said Knapp. "But topography also affects temperature patterns. Parts of Dickinson, Geary, and Morris counties, in the heart of the Flint Hills, freeze on average about three weeks earlier than southern Rice County, a relatively flat area only about 50 miles away."

Copies of "Climate and Weather Atlas of Kansas" are available from the Kansas Geological Survey, West Campus, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047. The cost is $7.50 per copy, plus $3.00 handling per order. Kansas residents must add 6.9% sales tax.

A short extract from this publication is available.
story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs