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This week's storms offer more evidence the drought is easing

The strong storms that rolled through southern Kansas early this week are yet another sign that the drought gripping Kansas for the past two years appears to be easing.

The storms rode a “northwest flow” of the jet stream across the state, said Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita. That’s a common weather pattern for July in this area.

“That's been kind of non-existent the past few years,” Hayes said.

More rain and strong storms are expected late Thursday night and early Friday morning, he said. The soil is now saturated, so heavy rains could prompt flooding.

After running below normal for the month, rainfall for July is now an inch above normal. But Wichita is still two inches below normal for the summer and just two inches above last year’s rainfall total. That won’t take much of a bite out of long-term moisture deficits, Hayes said.