An adage says, “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”
At the Goodland Weather Forecast Office of the National Weather Service (NWS) at 920 Armory Road, they do something about it. They watch it, predict it and warn about its worst impacts. The Goodland office issues forecasts and warnings for 19 counties, 13 in Kansas, three each in Colorado and Nebraska.
Severe local storms – Events produced by thunderstorms, including large hail, damaging winds, tornadoes and flash floods.
Winter storms – Hazards associated with freezing rain, sleet and/or snow, or combined effects of winter precipitation and strong winds.
Fire weather – Conditions leading to an increased risk of wildfires.
Flooding – Hazardous events resulting in temporary drowning of land areas not normally covered by water.
Other hazards – Weather hazards including extreme heat or cold, dense fog, high winds, river or lake shore flooding.
Goodland rarely floods. The city averages only 19.66 inches a year. And Sherman County’s only lake, Smoky Gardens, is intermittently dry. The area’s climate is considered semi-arid steppe (Bsk in the Koppen Climate Classification). For those who love sunshine, Goodland offers plenty of it, 260 days a year of full or partial sun. Steppe climates have large swings between average temperatures. Goodland’s all time high is 111 degrees F in July 1940. The all time low was -27 in December 1989. Goodland’s average high temperature is 65.04 degrees. Its average low is 37.56 degrees. The average wind speed is 12.1 miles per hour.
Office allows tours from Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Call ahead to 785-899-2360. If the would-be tour group is small, fewer than five people, a time could be worked out on the day of the call, providing the weather is quiet. For more than five people, please call a week in advance. Especially if children will be included, request to see special weather equipment, such as tornado machines and weather balloons. If the weather turns severe, please call before coming to confirm that the weather forecasters are still able to host tours. Tour group members will be able to ask questions of the meteorologists, learn how forecasts are made and see the office’s large array of computers filled with weather data and images.
Goodland (GLD) is the second smallest town, population 4,557, to host an NWS office. Only Glasgow, Mont. (GGW), population 3,250, is smaller.
For the current forecast, call 785-899-7119.by