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Wauneta area’s 2013 precipitation total beats prior year by almost nine inches PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 20:47

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


The need for moisture is never far from mind in our area, which is so dependent on agriculture. As Breeze news staff compiled the moisture and temperature highs and lows for 2013 a couple things stood out:

First, although the area seemed “dry” throughout 2013, we actually enjoyed above-average moisture.

Second, the temperatures seen in 2013 were not as extreme as those seen in 2012.


Despite its many challenges, 2013 was an above-average year for moisture for the Wauneta area with a total of 26.15 inches–8.86 inches more than in 2012.

Last year was not so lucky for the Wauneta area, which saw only 17.29 inches of precipitation in 2012. It was quite a shock to area producers and gardeners alike, who were growing accustomed to the previous six years of above-average precipitation amounts.

The year’s moisture total was by no means a new record for Wauneta. The community saw its highest annual moisture count in 1905 with 31.64 inches. The record low for precipitation in Wauneta was 8.42 inches in 2002.

Prior to 2002, the lowest year on record was 1898 with 8.94 inches, according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center.

Looking back at data gathered by High Plains Regional Climate Center, National Weather Service, Bronco Weather and Wauneta Weather Reporters over the past 116 years (from 1898 to 2013) the average annual moisture for Wauneta is 18.86 inches, making this year’s total 7.29 inches higher than average.

Despite the above-average moisture seen in the Wauneta area during 2013, the area was recorded as being in a severe to extreme drought most of the year by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Looking back at the moisture totals for each month in 2013, May was the wettest month with 6.22 inches of precipitation.

Unlike prior years, the community received some amount of moisture in each month of the year. The lowest precipitation amount was seen in January with a mere 0.17 inches.

No measurable amounts of moisture were recorded in January, September, or November of 2012.



In 2012 Wauneta saw 28 days of heat in excess of 100 degrees, whereas in 2013 there were only 12 days at or over 100 degrees.

The hottest day of the year came on Sept. 7 with a 105 degree temperature. Although hot, this was a bit of a break from the temperature high experienced in 2012, when the thermometer hit 111 degrees on June 27, the hottest day of 2012.

The month with the most days at or over 100 degrees was August, with five days of soaring temperatures.

On the other side of the spectrum, the area had seven days with lows at or under zero degrees in 2012 and 10 days in 2013. The coldest day of the year was just one month ago, on Dec. 9 with a negative 10 degrees.

December had a total of five days at or below zero degrees. The second coldest month of 2013 was January with four days at or below zero.