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Snow helps, but falls short of ending Kan. drought

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The National Drought Mitigation Center says the snowstorms hitting Kansas this month have eased dry conditions but have not ended the drought.

Climatologist Mark Svoboda says it takes roughly a foot of snow to make an inch of water. That means Kansas would need two to four feet of snow just to erase precipitation deficits since October.

Svoboda says that doesn't count the deficits from a drought that has lasted almost two years in Kansas and one year in the northern Great Plains states. Kansas needs 12 to 16 inches of water to fully recover.

The effects will linger well after the so-called "climatological drought" ends. It takes months or years for pastures and rangelands to recover to the point where there is good forage for livestock.