What is the Climate of the Osage Cuestas?


The climate of the Osage Cuestas is classified as a humid, continental climate under the Köppen Climate Classification System (Dwa). This classification is mainly characterised by its large seasonal temperature changes: warm to hot summers consisting of at least four months above a 50°F (10°C) average; and cold winters with the mean temperature of the coldest month below 32°F (0°C).

The "humid" part of that classification is a bit more fluid, as many local residents can attest to. Kansas can go through long periods of drought over one or several years, while achieving flood conditions for a period of the next few months or even years. On average, though, Kansas receives enough rain to retain the "humid" part of the classification, rather than semi-arid or arid. The area recieves the majority of its precipitation as rain in the spring and summer. Some winters can have locally moderate amounts of snow, but on the whole, eastern Kansas has a drier winter.

The Osage Cuestas is also prone to severe weather. Due to its geographic location, multiple air masses converge over the area, providing the fuel and means for severe thunderstorms to spawn in the spring and summer. Coupling this with Kansas's abundent sunshine, and one has a witch's cocktail of storms that can spawn large, record hail, gusting winds, and the occasional tornado.

While all of these storm events do much to alter the landscape, sometimes in very dramatic ways, the factor that shapes the Osage Cuestas the most are, surprisingly, the tiny rain droplets that patter to the ground.
Kansas Thunderstorm
Photo by Wikipedia



What Is the Geomorphology?



The Osage Cuestas are defined and shaped by water, both in the past and present. For information about the past, please click HERE.

In modern times, when rain falls to the ground in an Osage Cuestas pasture, it strikes one of two types of rock. It will either strike the harder, more resistant limestones, or the softer, more weathering-prone shales or sandstones. The limestone of the area resists erosion, while the softer shales and sandstones were washed away. Over time, this left the limestone formations standing alone at a higher elevation and the gently sloping detrius of the shales and sandstones washed out below.
Geomorphic Regions of Kansas

The source of this material is the Kansas Geological Survey website at KGS Website. All Rights Reserved.