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Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 12, originally published in 1995

Climate and Weather Atlas of Kansas: An Introduction

by Douglas G. Goodin, James E. Mitchell, Mary C. Knapp, and Raymond E. Bivens

small image of the cover of the book; photo of Kansas sunset with combines silhouetted.

Originally published in 1995 as Kansas Geological Survey Educational Series 12. This is, in general, the original text as published. The information has not been updated.


Because Kansas lies in the center of the continental United States, it is subject to varying weather patterns as air masses move across the state. Much of the severe weather for which Kansas is often noted is due to weather patterns that bring cold dry air into contact with warm moist air. Despite this reputation, the Kansas climate is partly responsible for the fertile soils and world-renowned agricultural industry.

Weather is an important part of our daily lives. We look to the paper, on radio and TV, and more recently on computer networks. Sites on the Internet or World Wide Web provide regional climate and weather information updated on a daily basis. This document is intended to give the general public information about some of the common terms and measurements they encounter in daily life. It cannot be used to plan daily activities, but provides an overview of the recorded weather and climate of Kansas. For example, this document includes maps of the first and last frost-free days across the state. This information would be of interest to gardeners in planning their activities. Or, it might be used to plan when to go camping or fishing. It would be of no use determining whether to wear a coat on a particular day.

This book is intended to provide basic information on the weather and climate of Kansas. The information is presented as a series of maps of selected climate and climate-related indices that are commonly reported in the media. All the information is derived from data collected across the state and compiled at the State Weather Library at Kansas State University. For more information about these data, the collection of the data, access to real-time computer information, or other aspects of the weather and climate of Kansas, contact the State Climatologist at:

State Climatologist
Weather Data Library
1004 Throckmorton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-3400
Phone: (785) 532-7019
FAX: (785) 532-6487
Electronic mail:

The report is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

To read this report, you will need the Acrobat PDF Reader, available free from Adobe.

Kansas Geological Survey
Placed on web July 28, 2015; originally published 1995, reprinted 2004.
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