UPDATE: Very high fire danger developing for weekend; nearly all Chase County now abnormally dry

UPDATE: Very high fire danger developing for weekend; nearly all Chase County now abnormally dry US Drought Monitor graphic

Recent rainfall -- and rain that may come down Friday -- may not do much to tamp down the fire risk that's apparently developing for the weekend.

The KVOE studios picked up 0.40 inches of rain on Thanksgiving, adding to the 1.4 inches of rain from Nov. 21. However, a prior dry spell after over 55 inches of rainfall earlier this year has left an abundance of plant life either dormant or dead -- and expected wind gusts as high as 45 mph Saturday could dry out those grasses and set up at least a very high fire danger for the entire KVOE listening area.

A repeat is possible Sunday as well.

The rainfall from the past week hasn't helped the US Drought Monitor across Kansas. Most of the KVOE listening area is out of any drought-related status, but abnormally dry conditions have now spread across most of Chase County, an expansion from last week when just far western Chase County was in that category. Moderate drought now covers most of Marion County.

Abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions are in south central, southwest and northwest Kansas.

6 am Friday: Isolated icing leads to storm prospects Friday, high fire danger for weekend

Icing issues were isolated for the KVOE listening area Thursday.

A winter storm gave the area a chance for light snowfall and a thin glaze of ice. For the most part, that did not materialize even with temperatures in the low 30s for much of the morning. In fact, we got 0.40 inches of rain at the KVOE studios, pushing the year-to-date total to 56.18 inches. The Emporia Municipal Airport picked up 0.25 inches. Its year-to-date total is now 41.55 inches.

Travel issues were mainly north and west of Emporia, with seasonal driving conditions on US Highway 56 from Admire west beyond Council Grove and on Kansas Highway 177 from Cottonwood Falls north past Council Grove. Driving conditions have now returned to normal in those areas.

Thunderstorms are possible in Friday's forecast.

The main weather issue for the weekend looks to be fire danger, even with the recent rainfall. Wind gusts as high as 45 mph are expected, which could dry out dormant grasses both Saturday and Sunday and set the table for at least very high fire danger both days.

We'll keep you updated on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media. If you have rain totals to report, call KVOE at 342-1400, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post to Facebook@kvoenews

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Last modified on Friday, 29 November 2019 13:38