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Active Weather Pattern Continues for the Northwestern U.S.

A series of Pacific storm systems will bring periods of locally heavy rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow to portions of Washington and Oregon for the next couple days. In addition, much of the northwestern U.S. and Intermountain West will experience strong winds from these storm systems, particularly in Sierra Nevada, Great Basin, and the northern Rockies/High Plains. Read More >

Overview/Narrative:

(BE SURE TO CLICK THE VARIOUS TABS BELOW FOR A VARIETY OF AUGUST 2017 CLIMATE INFORMATION!)

Recap of August 2017 Weather for the 30-county NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 

Rainfall: August featured a rather sharp rainfall disparity, with roughly half of our domain above normal (some places WAY above) and the other half below normal (some places WAY below). Very generally, the dividing line between wetter-versus drier was the Highway 6 corridor (wetter north of it, drier south of it...especially north central Kansas). Of our 30 counties, some of the overall-wettest included: Polk, Nance, Sherman, Valley and Hamilton. As for totals at official NWS observer and CoCoRaHS/NeRAIN sites, a few of the highest included: 12.21" (5 miles NE of Osceola), 11.44" (Osceola...wettest August on record!), 9.34" (3WSW of Genoa), 9.09" (4N Aurora) and 8.40" (2W Loup City). In sharp contrast, and farther south, some of the overall-driest counties included: Rooks, Osborne, Mitchell, Smith, northern Webster/southern Adams. A few of the lowest official NWS observer and CoCoRaHS/NeRAIN totals were:  1.05" (Plainville KS), 1.17" (Osborne KS), 1.69" (2NNW Hunter KS), 2.05" (Smith Center KS) and 2.21 (4SW Blue Hill). 

- Flooding: The overall-most widespread heavy rain/flooding event of 2017-to-date occurred between the afternoon of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, as much of the northern half of the local area received AT LEAST 2-4", with localized pockets of 5-7+", highlighted by 8.37" five miles northeast of Osceola (via NeRAIN). Not surprisingly, at least minor flooding ensued across several counties, affecting not only numerous rural roads and agricultural areas, but also several creeks and rivers. For further details, please refer to this story.

Temperatures: The entire local area had a solidly cooler-than-normal month, mainly between 3.5º and 5º below normal. In terms of rankings at long-term climate stations, this was between the 3rd-8th coolest August on record at most places, and it was also the coolest in 25 years (since 1992). At Grand Island airport, this was the first August on record out of 121 to never reach 90º! As for monthly extremes per official NWS observers, some of the hottest highs occurred on the 20th, including 102° near Alton KS, 100° at Smith Center KS and 96º at Franklin. As for coolest August lows, most places experienced them on the 4th with widespread mid-upper 40s, including as chilly as 42º at Greeley and 43º at Beaver City. 

Severe Thunderstorms/Tornadoes: The month as a whole was relatively inactive, but the roughly 5 days and/or nights that featured severe storms yielded several dozen reports of large hail/damaging winds (but no confirmed tornadoes). The night of the 13th brought severe storms to far western counties, with a report of several large tree branches down in Cambridge. The late afternoon and evening of the 15th was most noted for heavy rain and flooding (see above), but it also featured hail up to baseball size in/near Fullerton.

Likely the overall-most significant severe storm event of the month occurred during the pre-dawn hours of the 27th as a corridor of damaging winds raced southeast through primarily portions of Sherman, Howard, Buffalo and Hall counties, resulting in fairly widespread damage to especially trees in communities such as Ravenna, Cairo and Pleasanton, and to a somewhat lesser extent in Grand Island, Kearney and vicinity. 



2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2017 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2016 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2016 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)


This graphic features a precipitation map for August 2017, along with a partial listing of totals from official NWS stations. (Click image to enlarge)
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