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But, a normally wet spring should be all area needs
new deh county still in drought graphic

The U.S. Drought Monitor categories of drought are defined as follows:
Abnormally Dry (D0) - Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures; fire risk above average. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits; pastures or crops not fully recovered.
Moderate Drought (D1) - Some damage to crops, pastures; fire risk high; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent, voluntary water use restrictions requested.
Severe Drought (D2) - Crop or pasture losses likely; fire risk very high; water shortages common; water restrictions imposed.
Extreme Drought (D3) - Major crop/pasture losses; extreme fire danger; widespread water shortages or restrictions.
Exceptional Drought (D4) - Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; exceptional fire risk; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells, creating water emergencies.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly collaborative effort between a number of federal agencies including NOAA/NWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center. 

Last May, Governor Sam Brownback issued an executive order declaring a drought emergency in most of Kansas. That order, which includes Barton County remains in effect, said Barton County Emergency Management Director Amy Miller.
 Despite the snows and rains experienced in the Golden Belt this winter, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates dry conditions persist across 81 percent of the state. Moderate drought or worse is affecting 38 percent of Kansas, or over 800,000 of its 2,893,957 residents.
“We are very dry,” Miller said. “We still need above average moisture to get us caught up.”
Both the Monthly Drought Outlook for January 2015 and Seasonal Drought Outlook through March 2015 indicate drought conditions to persist or intensify for western and south central Kansas.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor drought-rating scale, Barton County falls into the Abnormally Dry category. This can mean: The area is headed into a drought with short-term dryness that slows crops and increases fire risk; or coming out of drought with some lingering water deficits, and pastures or crops that are not fully recovered.
At this time in 2014, the area was at Moderate Drought. There was some damage to crops and  pastures, a high fire risk, and  some water shortages were looming.
“We are a little better than we were last year,” Miller said.
Drought stages are in effect for all 105 counties, the Kansas Water Office reports. This is a three-tier system with Drought Emergency being the worst and Drought being the least severe.
“It is kind of a double-edged sword,” Miller said. “We really don’t want all that snow, but we need it.”
The region is still under its average for precipitation, she said. 
“Over the past few months, we have not been super wet,” said Andy Kleinsasser, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita. “We’ve had just enough (precipitation) to keep the drought from expanding.”
For now, southwest Kansas is in the worst shape. Barton County falls right on the northern fringe of that drought-plagued region.
“You are actually on the low end of the threshold for drought,” Kleinsasser said. As of now, the Golden Belt isn’t in terribly bad shape.
“We have to remember that the winter is typically the driest part of the year for us,” he said. “March, April, May and June are the money months.”
The bulk of the area’s moisture comes at that time. “If we have a dry spring, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the year.”
So, what Barton County needs is a continued pattern of regular snows and rains, Kleinsasser said. “If you have a normal spring, you should be OK.”
Under the governor’s order, drought emergency applies to 56 counties, warning to 26 and watch to 23. Counties are broken down as follows:
Drought Emergency: Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Decatur, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham , Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Lyon, Meade, Morton, Ness, Norton, Pawnee, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Rice, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace and Wichita.
Drought Warning: Cherokee, Cloud, Coffey, Crawford, Dickinson, Douglas, Elk, Greenwood, Jewell, Labette, Marion, McPherson, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Rooks, Republic, Saline, Smith, Washington and Wilson.
Drought Watch: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Clay, Doniphan, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Marshall, Miami, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Woodson and Wyandotte.
United States Department of Agriculture secretarial designations of agricultural disaster has not occurred for 2015 for Kansas.